Bodies put railway efficiency off track
If your train is running late and stopping at unscheduled places, it might well be because of the onerous task the train driver is performing: Removing dead bodies from the tracks.delhi Updated: Apr 17, 2012 01:54 IST
If your train is running late and stopping at unscheduled places, it might well be because of the onerous task the train driver is performing: Removing dead bodies from the tracks.
A fresh circular of the Indian Railways instructs assistant loco pilots (ALPs) and guards to remove dead bodies from tracks to enable “the movement of subsequent trains”.
“The ALP and Guard will load the dead body on the brake van and remove it to the nearest gate lodge or the next station,” says the March 9 circular of the Railways’ Delhi division.
An estimated 12 dead bodies are found near railway tracks in the Mumbai suburban trains each day.
The Anil Kakodkar-headed High Level Safety Review Committee estimates that 6,000 people die each year because of trespassing or by falling off over-crowded trains.
And about 5,000 other dead bodies are found on tracks each year.
“The menace of dead bodies on tracks has been growing alarmingly. Organised groups bring dead bodies from elsewhere and throw them on the tracks to claim compensation from the railways,” said a senior official.
Dead bodies on tracks have been slowing down trains and hampering punctuality, a railway official said.
Train drivers have described the circular as “illegal” because it seeks to infringe on the code of criminal procedure.
“Removal of dead bodies from the tracks by guards and drivers will amount to removal of primary evidence from the site of the crime,” said Sanjay Pandhi of the Indian Railways Loco Running Organisation.