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150 lives saved as Pune railway crossings become safer, says RPF

According to RPF, only 500 trespassing accidents were registered this year owing to extensive awareness drives by the railway administration.

pune Updated: Nov 10, 2017 15:07 IST
Jui Dharwadkar
Jui Dharwadkar
Hindustan Times, Pune
People illegally crossing railway tracks at Pune railway station on November 7. Though accidents due to trespassing have come down in recent years, a lot of people still prefer this illegal ‘shortcut’.
People illegally crossing railway tracks at Pune railway station on November 7. Though accidents due to trespassing have come down in recent years, a lot of people still prefer this illegal ‘shortcut’.(Ravindra Joshi/HT PHOTO)

With regular drives being conducted by the railway administration against people crossing railway tracks and the growing awareness about the consequences of trespassing railway tracks, the Pune Railway Division saw a significant fall in accidents due to trespassing tracks over the past three years. According to statistics provided by the Railway Protection Force (RPF), Pune, over 150 lives were saved as a result of regular drives against trespassing.

 According to data available with RPF, this year, the division has only registered 500 accidents related to trespassing till November 8, which is lesser by 46 accidents as compared to that of last year. The number of deaths caused by such accidents have also come down to 300, added RPF officials.

In 2016, the total accidents related to trespassing registered in the division was 546, in which 350 persons lost their lives. In 2015, the number of such accidents was at 616, in which 450 persons lost their lives. 

Constant efforts by the railway administration has helped bring down these numbers. This year, between January to October, the administration booked a total of 5,849 people for illegally entering railway stations and trespassing, putting their lives at risk.

According to officials from the Pune railway division, regular drives conducted by the administration has helped bring down the number of trespassing-related accidents. They added that they would continue with their efforts as 500 is also a substantial number, which needs to be further reduced. The accidental deaths on tracks saw a steady rise since 2009, when 221 individuals lost their lives. In 2010, the number went up to 267 and then further to 299 the next year. In 2012, it rose by a large margin to 350. It continued to increase until it reached 450 in 2015.

 Speaking about the issue of trespassing, divisional railway manager, Milind Deoskar said, "Trespassing is a serious issue in the division. People are always in a hurry and avoid using bridges and instead, prefer crossing the railway tracks, putting their lives in danger. At least one accident reported in the division due to trespassing on a daily basis." 

He added that the administration is constantly conducting drives and spreading awareness about the unnecessary risks that people take while crossing railway tracks. 

According to the railway police, trespassing and footboard travelling are the major reasons for deaths on railway tracks. According to the guidelines, trespassing railway tracks amounts to a serious offence and the offenders are taken to the railway court, where they are fined. 

Despite repeated appeals and actions taken by the police, commuters tend to ignore the rules and cross the railway lines to save time, said railway officials.

They added that apart from risking their own lives, accidents due to trespassing also affect the timetable and punctuality of trains, making it inconvenient for other commuters as well. 

“When there is an accident due to trespassing, train services immediately come to a halt. Police personnel have to rush to the spot and take care of the situation. This delays the time table of the running train and affects the other trains scheduled after it accordingly. Hence, the administration has been trying very hard to make people realise the consequences of trespassing, but many are still seen crossing railway tracks illegally,” said senior officials from Pune railway division.

First Published: Nov 10, 2017 15:05 IST

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