Despite spending around 17 lakhs for installing electric lifting barriers (ELB) at five railway level-crossings in the royal city, most of the gates still continue to be operated manually by gatemen operators, as within one month of its installation, the new systems have started posing technical problems.
According to the information available, each level railway crossing numbers, including 24, 23, 20, 19, 16 were upgraded with ELB systems costing over Rs. 3 lakhs over six months span. However, a month after installation, the new system have become almost defunct.
The gateman operators rue that neither they nor the technicians who are often called to repair the gates have been given any formal training on how to operate and repair the gates in case of any technical fault.
Sources revealed that the gates functioned without any problem only for a week after the installation.
Authorities informed that on an daily basis, around 16 trains cross the royal city.
An official seeking anonymity said: "Technicians and mechanics repair the gates only on temporary basis as they lack adequate training for operating these gates. There are times when gateman operators fail to close the crossings on time, due to technical failures, which pose risk to lives of passers-by."
Due to lack of training and technical errors, track jams for 20-30 minutes have become a common site at these crossings.
Meanwhile, when the junior engineer, signal, Patiala, Nitin Wason was contacted on the matter, he said the technical faults were due to minor errors. "These are initial hiccups. We have given the gatemen operators a formal training of a week and they had given in written that they can operate the gates."
However call it lack of co-ordination between the authorities or their apathy, the real sufferers continue to be the commuters who are made to wait at the crossings.