Construction of limited height subways, an initiative of the Indian Railways, for preventing accidents occurring due to unmanned railway crossings, is doing well in the region with railway lines set to get more such subways in the coming years.
Sharing details about limited height subway (LHS) projects in the region, Ferozepur railway division officials said six such subways on Ferozepur-Jalandhar railway line, three on Ferozepur-Fazilka line, three on Ferozepur-Ludhiana line, and one on Ferozepur-Bathinda line had been constructed in the last one year.
They added that the target of building around 13 subways had been achieved in financial year 2015-16.
The cost for constructing a single LHS is around Rs 1.75 crore.
Anuj Prakash, divisional railway manager (DRM) of Ferozepur division, said the construction of the last targeted LHS on Ferozepur-Bathinda railway line had been completed.
Though they have already completed the work for 2015-16, they are yet to set the target for the next year.
Preventing accidents on unmanned level crossings has always remained a challenging task for the railways.
Anuj Prakash said two deaths occurred in 2015 and six in 2014 due to accidents on unmanned crossings in Ferozepur division.
Officials said the railway authorities had provided ‘gatemitras’ in areas which still had unmanned level crossings. Gatemitra is a railway official who cautions the locals or passersby about the arrival of trains where the level crossing is unmanned.
Ferozepur division has outsourced work to a firm for providing staff to be deployed as gate-mitras. In 2015, the division deployed around 162 gate-mitras.
Officials said there were around 11,000 unmanned railway crossings in the country and 340 in Ferozepur division. Railways is planning to eliminate unmanned crossings by 2020 and build LHS to prevent accidents.