As part of the plan to protect railway tracks and prevent encroachments on its property, rail authorities have decided to construct a 7km-long wall between Bhopal railway station and Habibganj railway station at a cost R1.5 crore.
Commandant of Railway Protection Force (RPF), Bhopal Vijay Khatarkar said, “A wall would be constructed on both sides of the tracks between Habibganj and Bhopal railway stations.
It will help to protect railway properties and prevent several untoward incidents. The budget for the project has been sanctioned and work is expected to start soon.
The wall would first be constructed in areas which are considered security threats,” he said.
Recently, 20-year-old Poonam Soni was run over by a train while crossing the track near Kasturba Nagar.
Several people cross the railway tracks daily between Habibganj and Bhopal railway stations especially near Kasturba Nagar, Rachana Nagar, Subhash Railway crossing, Barkhedi and Aishbagh. At numerous occasions, they are run over by approaching trains. The RPF has failed to put an end to this menace.
Often, anti-social elements put stones, iron rods and electric poles on the tracks. “Once the wall is constructed, anti-social elements would not be able to sabotage the tracks.
It would also help the RPF to protect railway properties,” a senior railway official said.
Several slums have come up adjacent to the railway tracks near Subhash railway crossing, Barkhedi and other areas. The shanties have even covered the railway signals as a result train drivers face problems while crossing this section.
“If the wall, which is estimated to be 6ft-tall, is constructed from both sides, the people would not able to develop shanties near the railway track,” said Vijay Khatarkar.
However, railway sources said as of now with the first phase of construction, the railway authorities will not meddle with the existing encroachments but will carry on the work at places which are still under the possession of the railways.