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Cases of Vande Bharat Express hitting cattle: RPF asks sarpanches to check cattle menace, warns owners of penal action

Senior Divisional Security Commissioner (Western Railway) Vineet Kharb said they are creating awareness among villagers by sending notices to sarpanches and district collectors to prevent cattle from coming or roaming near railway tracks.

A Mumbai-Gandhinagar Vande Bharat train after a cattle hit.

After a spate of incidents in which stray cattle were hit by the Vande Bharat Express which operates between Mumbai and Gandhinagar, the Mumbai Division of Railway Protection Force (RPF) has written to sarpanches of a large number of villages along the corridor to ensure stray cattle are controlled and not allowed to roam unattended around the railway line. It has also warned of penal action against cattle owners if they do not take care of their animals.

The Indian Express has a copy of the notice issued by Palghar RPF to villages adjoining the railway line in the district. The letter dated October 28 states that several stray cattle are found loitering along the railway track with instances of cattle being run over by trains. The sarpanches of these areas have been asked to ensure all stray cattle are sent to a cow shelter.

Senior Divisional Security Commissioner (Western Railway) Vineet Kharb said they are creating awareness among villagers by sending notices to sarpanches and district collectors to prevent cattle from coming or roaming near railway tracks.

“From Palghar in Maharashtra till Udhna in Surat there are several small villages with a substantial number of cattle. In view of the recent incidents where cattle have come in the way of trains we have issued notices to the sarpanches of these villages to ensure these animals are controlled and not allowed to come near the railway line. These accidents not only damage the locomotive but also put the lives of passengers at risk,” Kharb said.

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According to RPF’s Mumbai Division, over 1,000 notices have been issued from January this year till date and more than 50 awareness campaigns have been held in crowded areas such as junctions and chowks of these villages cautioning villagers to take care of their cattle.

A series of fresh notices were sent after three incidents were reported in October in which cattle were hit by the Vande Bharat Express. All these incidents occurred in Gujarat.

The Vande Bharat Express is a semi-high speed train, with 16 coaches and self-propelled — it doesn’t require an engine.

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The RPF has also sent a request to all gram panchayats to allow its officers to be part of their monthly meetings so that the officers can create awareness and directly communicate with the villagers about the menace. “We have asked sarpanches to allow us to be part of their monthly meetings where the RPF can create awareness and directly communicate with the villagers about increasing death of cattles while crossing tracks.” Palghar RPF Inspector Basant Rai said.

First published on: 04-11-2022 at 00:14 IST
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