The railways has set an ambitious target of eliminating all unmanned level crossings on busy routes by 2020. Unmanned level crossings pose a severe threat to rail safety and are major reasons of train accidents.Currently, the railways has about 4,000 unmanned level crossings on the busy rail corridors across the country. An action plan has been firmed up for eliminating 3,900 unmanned level crossing by 2020, a senior official of the Railway Ministry said.
While staff will be deployed at certain spots to man the level crossings, there will be rail overbridges and underbridges at many places to tackle unmanned crossings.
In order to raise awareness about unmanned level crossings among users, the railways is observing the International Level Crossing Awareness Week from May 28 to June 2.
The Northern Railway has stepped up its level crossings’ safety awareness campaigns through multi-pronged thematic programmes and popular mass communication modes. Delhi Division has conducted awareness campaigns through popular street plays at different locations near manned/unmanned level crossings at Shamli, Baraut, Kandhla, Nangloi, Bahardurgarh, Rohtak, Jind, Safidon, Madlauda, Panipat and Palam.
Other campaigns are also slated for predominant sections where level crossings connecting hinterland areas are situated. A motorcycle rally was also organised by the Railway Police Force at Moradabad to create awareness. Posters and stickers were pasted at prominent places in vulnerable locations. Railway personnel distributed safety pamphlets and counselled road users at different locations.
“We keep general public sensitised on dangers of boarding running trains, asking them to observe caution on possible train movement before negotiating unmanned level crossings and not to force the gate man to open closed gates to avoid any mishap,” the official said.