Level crossing accidents saw a 20 per cent jump in 2019 even as the number of accidental deaths in railway premises remained largely constant compared to the previous year, the latest government data show.
There were 1,788 level crossing accidents in 2019, up from 1,408 in 2018, according to the latest NCRB data. Last year, level-crossing accidents killed 1,762 people, while the year before they claimed 1,507 lives, the report says.
In 2018, the number of deaths from mishaps at level crossings had actually come down marginally from 1,534 deaths in 2017, NCRB data show. Since 2017, Indian Railways has on a mission mode eliminated all unmanned level crossings either by manning them or by adding subways and flyovers. In 2016, the NCRB data showed more than 3,000 deaths had occurred at level crossings.
The latest data show that the number of people dying inside the railway system — either by falling off moving trains or getting run over while trespassing on tracks — was 24,619, around the same as the previous year. The number of accidental deaths in railway premises, which NCRB classifies as “Railway accidents”, was 27,000 in 2019, also similar to the number in 2018.
“A number of policy interventions have taken place to prevent deaths in railway premises. They have worked,” said Arun Kumar, Director General of the Railway Protection Force.