Removing 269 unmanned level crossings an uphill task for Ferozepur railway division | punjab$jalandhar | Hindustan Times
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Removing 269 unmanned level crossings an uphill task for Ferozepur railway division

The division has reported four deaths due to unmanned crossings in the past two years. 

punjab Updated: Sep 15, 2017 11:44 IST
Harvinder Kaur
Villagers trying to clear the track after an SUV collided with a train at Parjian village of Sultanpur in April 2011. The division has reported four deaths due to unmanned crossings in the past two years.
Villagers trying to clear the track after an SUV collided with a train at Parjian village of Sultanpur in April 2011. The division has reported four deaths due to unmanned crossings in the past two years.(HT File )

The Ferozepur railway division faces an uphill task as it has to remove all 269 unmanned level crossings in its jurisdiction within a year against the earlier deadline of three years.

The railway division has 235 railway stations in Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and parts of Himachal Pradesh, with many of unmanned level crossings in rural areas. Railway officials said the highest (37) concentration of unguarded level crossings is on the Beas-Tarn Taran railway line.  

The division has reported four deaths due to unmanned crossings in the past two years. In a meeting with railway board officials last week, newly inducted railway minister Piyush Goyal had asked to speed up the process of removing all unmanned level-crossings within a year. “We have just been communicated about the target. We will chalk out a strategy within a week to complete the work in a time-bound manner," said divisional commercial manager Rajneesh Shrivastava. 

The division, which had 299 unmanned crossings till April 2016, removed only 30 crossings since. To meet the deadlines, the division will have to remove at least 22 unguarded crossings in a month.

Shrivastava said, “The process of removing unmanned crossings is long. After removing unguarded crossings, we make limited height subway whose construction costs Rs 2 crore and it takes at least two months.”

“For removing these crossings in a certain area, we also need to take permission from the local bodies department and the district administration and it take time. We will remove all unguarded crossings within one year,” he said.

As a temporary measure, the division has deployed 'gate mitras', who caution motorists about the arrival of trains, at all the crossings. They are mostly outsourced through tendering and they undergo training.