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Railways,admn start blame game

The railways authorities and the district administration preferred to pass the buck after three students were killed when the school van they were travelling in came in front of a rail engine at an unmanned railway crossing at Heraj village in Ferozepur district.

Written by Navjeevan Gopal | Ferozepur |
February 3, 2009 10:39:49 pm

The railways authorities and the district administration preferred to pass the buck after three students were killed when the school van they were travelling in came in front of a rail engine at an unmanned railway crossing at Heraj village in Ferozepur district.

Claiming that setting up a manned railway crossing entailed an “astronomical expenditure that included infrastructure,salary of the three persons to be employed there and their subsequent pension”,Ferozepur Division Assistant Divisional Railway Manager (ADRM) RS Gera blamed the civil administration “for doing precious little to spread awareness among people about being cautious at unmanned crossings”.

Senior Divisional Safety Officer AK Mittoo also hit out at civil administration. “It is to be seen whether the driver had a driving licence,whether the vehicle was duly registered and whether the driver was conversant with the route,” said Mittoo,claiming to have recently written letters to the deputy commissioners of the districts under the Ferozepur division to take into account all these things and spread awareness. He said there were more than 1,000 unmanned crossings in Ferozepur division.

Ferozepur Deputy Commissioner Megh Raj minced no words in hitting back at the railway authorities. “Why don’t they counsel their drivers to slow down the trains and take others warning measures like blowing sirens when approaching near unmanned railway crossings,” he said.

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“The attitude of the railway authorities is highly unbecoming of them,” said Megh Raj,adding that the railways did not even bother to sympathise with the victims,while he had attended one of the cremations.

Lakhwinder Singh,who runs a tempo on the route,said their union had hired a person to alert them about the trains on the unmanned railway crossing.

“He comes around 9 am. Had he been there,the tragedy could have been averted,” he said.

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