The Delhi division of Northern Railway is mulling installation of CCTV cameras at all its manned level crossings, sources said days after a gateman’s hands were hacked by three motorcycle-borne men at a crossing.
Kundan Pathak, a resident of Bishanpur in Bihar’s Banka district, was manning gate number 19 between Narela and Rathdhana on Monday when three armed men demanded that the level crossing gate be opened.
When he refused to do so as the 18101 Muri Express was approaching, the three men hacked his hand. The 28-year-old underwent a four-hour surgery at a hospital in Rohini where his limbs were reattached.
The source said the plan to install CCTV cameras at manned level crossings was suggested almost six months ago after a meeting of zonal railways with the Railway Board as a measure to provide security to the gatemen who are usually alone at odd hours at isolated areas.
Railways has more than 19,000 manned level crossings across its network. As a pilot project, CCTV cameras were installed at 11 manned gates at the South Central Railway zone.
However, despite recommendations, the plan to expand it to all manned crossings never materialised, the source said.
Taking suo motu cognisance of media reports, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had on Tuesday issued notices to the Railways and the Haryana government seeking a detailed report of the incident within four weeks.
The Railway Board chairperson has been asked to provide information about steps to be taken, if not already taken, to prevent such attacks.
“The suggestion was to install such cameras at manned level crossings where the gateman has to physically open the gate for the train. While the cameras would be helpful to monitor the gateman, it would also ensure his security.
“It would be greatly helpful in investigation of incidents such as this. In northern railway, the initiative will begin with the Delhi Division,” the source said.