Updated: May 9, 2020 4:07:51 am
Hours after 16 migrant labourers were run over by a goods train early Thursday near Aurangabad, Maharashtra, the Railways has been asked to observe “abundant caution” about migrants walking along the tracks with “false sense of security” about the tracks being safe since train services stand suspended due to the lockdown.
In a letter to the Railways, Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety, S K Pathak, stated that the migrants had apparently gathered along the track assuming there would be no train due to lockdown, oblivious to the fact that goods trains and parcel trains are operating.
The Railways has been asked to issue directions to all zonal railways to issue directions so that railwaymen on duty can prevent such mishaps in future. “…all efforts must be made to prevent recurrence of such incidents in future,” Pathak wrote to Chairman, Railway Board, V K Yadav.
“It is essential that all Railway personnel connected with train operation, maintenance and patrolling activities should be cautioned to immediately communicate any such occurrence of persons walking along the track, if noticed by them, to the nearest station so that necessary action like Caution Order to all passing trains…may be taken,” the letter states.
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Pathak has reiterated the rules and procedures related to safety, and duties prescribed for all railway officials to prevent accidents in the course of work.
The Railway ministry’s letter to all its zones on Friday stated, “There is a need to start a drive to ensure safety in the prevailing situation. The relevant provisions of General Rules… should be reiterated to all the concerned so that any accident, unusual occurrence etc can be prevented in future.”
While the Railways has so far not decided any ex-gratia to the kin of the victims, following the Elphinstone Bridge accident in Mumbai in 2017, which killed 23 people, Railways had given ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh for death, Rs 1 lakh for serious injury, and Rs 50,000 for simple injury. In the 2018 incident in which nearly 60 people were run over by a train near Amritsar, the Railways did not pay any ex-gratia. However, the PM Relief Fund had paid Rs 2 lakh to the kin of each victim.
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