As summer progresses with daytime temperatures often touching 47° C, train accidents in the district have increased sharply in tandem with the soaring mercury. According to the monthly data released by the Government Railway Police, there were 45 railway-related deaths in June, of which 32 occurred in accidents, against 28 deaths in the previous month.
Deaths arising from natural circumstances, including those of passengers falling ill while travelling on trains, were reported at ten, including two females.
In addition, three cases of suicides on trains or railway property were reported during the month.
On June 1, Kapil, 23, a resident of Haryana killed himself by jumping in front of an oncoming train on the Hamira-Dhilwan track in Jalandhar district. On June 18 a 36-year-old man, Gurmukh Singh, committed suicide with another case of an unidentified man killing himself reported on June 30.
The city’s cantonment area witnessed several fatal train accidents. Among them Deepak Kumar died in a mishap on June 27 and Manvir Singh, a resident of Beas village, was killed after being hit by a running train on June 30.
Northern Railway officials have cited various reasons for the rising death toll in train accidents. A GRP officer said, “People here are always in a hurry, they don’t think twice before taking a shortcut to get to their destination. In doing so they knowingly put their lives at grave risk”.
Of the fatal accidents in June, seven occurred while crossing rail tracks. A Railway Protection Force official said: “Though we’ve fined at least 40 people at the city’s railway station alone for crossing train tracks, thousands of people continue to cross the tracks instead of using platform stairs or rail overbridges.”
The fine for crossing train tracks is Rs. 100.
Meanwhile, police SHO Davinder Singh said the railway police could do little to prevent people from crossing train tracks carelessly.