Saturday, May 24, 2014

Mysore Division sees significant reduction in unmanned crossings


Low-level subways to be built as a permanent solution: Rajkumar Lal

SAFETY MEASURE:It has been planned to construct underpasses at level-crossings to reduce accidents.— PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM
SAFETY MEASURE:It has been planned to construct underpasses at level-crossings to reduce accidents.— PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM
: The number of unmanned level-crossings (UMLCs) in Mysore Division has shown a steady decline in recent years due to the ongoing efforts to eliminate them and shore up public safety.
There were 391 UMLCs in 2008-09 and their number was reduced to 284 by March 31, 2013 and further brought down to 228 as on date. Of the 228 UMLCs in the division, the authorities intend to convert 121 into manned level-crossings by recruiting or deploying staff during the current financial year alone.
In addition, 19 roads will be diverted to the nearest manned level-crossings or subways to make the UMLCs redundant, while 27 low-height subways will be constructed.
Rajkumar Lal, Divisional Railway Manager, Mysore Division, told The Hindu that apart from constructing 27 low-height subways, they were sending a fresh proposal for constructing 40 new low-level subways in the division. The target was to do away with the UMLCs in the next couple of years.
There are 495 level-crossing gates — both manned and unmanned — in the Mysore division, which has a track length of nearly 1,160 km. This averages to one crossing for every 2.34 km, while the average for UMLCs is one for every 5.08 km.
The drive to eliminate UMLCs is part of a national agenda of the Indian Railways to do away with all unmanned crossings by 2015 by constructing subways or providing diversions so as to eliminate accidents. Recently, a Minister died in an accident at an unmanned level-crossing in Uttar Pradesh. As on April 1, 2013, there were nearly 13,000 UMLCs across the country.
Mr. Lal said, wherever feasible, they would opt for low-level subways as it would be a permanent solution, without entailing any recruitment of staff to man the level-crossings.
Each subway would cost Rs. 1.5 crore, but was economical in the long run, he said.
While there were no accidents at level-crossings in the Mysore Division in recent times, two persons died near Belagola three years ago at an unmanned crossing. Other sources said, only those involving death were reported and accidents damaging vehicles or causing injury were reported as tresspassing.


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