CENTRAL Railway officials have blamed illegal hutments and encroachment around the railway tracks for incidences of stone pelting on trains on Chinchwad-Akurdi and Ghorpadi Saswad stretches. Recently, long-distance trains had suffered due to stone pelting by miscreants while passing through these stretches, especially during night hours.
Officials said stone pelting incidents have increased in the past few days. In a recent incident, passengers of Thirunvelli-Dadar Express had a narrow escape as some miscreants pelted stones on the train. “While the train was passing through Saswad and Ghorpadi stretch, it came under heavy stone pelting on engine as well as coaches. In the incident, the driver of the train had barely escaped from the stone. Thankfully, no passengers were injured. The Railway Protection Force (RPF) has been deployed on the train, but this incident happened due to large number of encroachments near by the railway track,” said a senior officer from the Pune Division.
As per railway officials, another stretch identified for frequent stone pelting incidences is Chinchwad-Akurdi, where complaints have been filed about such cases.
“Due to such incidences, the RPF conducted surveys and found that Dapodi, Akurdi, Chinchwad and Ghorpadi are the major spots where stone throwing incidents have happened in the recent past. The railway administration received complaints that these incidents occur mostly at night and affect long-distance trains,” said officials.
As per officials, the incident between Saswad and Ghorpadi happened due to large number of encroachments near the railway track. “Stone pelting causes damage to railway property and also put the life and safety of passengers in danger. We are monitoring at all levels. We have put up posters in the identified areas to spread awareness among the residents,” said Manoj Jhavar, PRO, Pune Division.