Warnings against crossing railway tracks fall on deaf ears

Warnings against crossing railway tracks fall on deaf ears

The Railways have adopted several measures to discourage people from crossing the tracks, risking their lives in the process.

But the efforts seem to have borne no fruits if the number of fatalities on the tracks are anything to go by. On Sunday, two sisters lost their lives in the City when they failed to see approaching trains on both the sides while crossing the tracks near Chikkabanavara station.

Due to their own callousness, 430 people were killed on the tracks in Bangalore division alone in 2012, while 250 people died in 2013 when trying to cross the tracks.

 That is not all. The Railway Protection Force (RPF) has, till July this year, booked 476 cases for trespassing, under Section 147 of the Railways Act, wherein one can be asked to pay fine ranging from Rs 200 to  Rs 2,000 besides a simple imprisonment up to six months. In 2013, as many as 12,204 cases of trespassing were booked, while in 2012, a total of 4,564 cases were booked by RPF in Bangalore division alone.

According to officials, Bangalore City Railway Station and the KR Puram Railway Station have been identified as areas where a large number of people cross the tracks and the maximum cases are booked.

Officials of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) say that they have put up hoardings along the tracks at all stations to warn people against crossing the tracks. CCTVs and the Public Address System are used to constantly make announcements on the dangers of crossing the tracks.

Anil K Aggarwal, Divisional Railway Manager, said, “We have been making efforts to sensitise the people at the railway stations to the dangers of crossing the tracks by constantly making announcements in this regard. CCTVs are also closely monitored. If anyone is seen on the tracks, RPF personnel nab them immediately”.

 “We can make more efforts in this direction. But, unless people realise the value of their own lives, there is nothing much we can do beyond penalising and detaining trespassers,” said a senior railway official.

One of the major hurdles in strict implementation of the section on trespassing in the Railway Act is that for the first offence, the RPF personnel are supposed to only issue a warning.

Officials say that the Railways is going to conduct more seminars and awareness programmes in the near future to prevent precious lives being lost.

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