Saturday, July 26, 2014

Unmanned level crossings to be barricaded

HYDERABAD: The South Central Railway (SCR) on Friday announced that work is underway to build barricades at around 20 unmanned level crossings within a week, including the one at Masaipet in Medak where a bus-train collision killed 14 schoolchildren on Thursday.

SCR spokesperson K Sambasiva Rao said work at the Masaipet level crossing (LC 233) started on Friday and is likely to be completed by this month-end. "At around 20 places, manning works are in progress and will be completed in a week. We will step up publicity campaigns on creating caution while navigating unmanned crossings," Rao said.

During a review meeting conducted by SCR general manager P K Srivastava on Friday, officials said 514 unmanned crossings were eliminated in the last four years while 640 remain in the zone.

On Thursday, Masaipet villagers refused to allow the removal of bus debris from the tracks till an assurance was given to them by railway officials present at the spot that manning works at LC 233 would be completed soon.

The locals also demanded that a road under bridge be constructed at other crossings in the vicinity of the Srinivas Nagar railway station in Masaipet. While railway officials assured villagers of speedy completion of pending works at LC 233, other assurances could not be provided as the matter would require consultations with the state government.

Railways began the process of eliminating unmanned railway crossings across the country in 2010. To this end, the Railways has either constructed a low-height subway or shut down some crossings altogether.

A committee comprising three senior railway officers has been constituted to investigate into the accident, said SCR spokesperson. The committee has been asked to submit its report in 10 days, he said.


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