There are no unmanned railway crossings at present in the state of Punjab, the Northern Railways informed the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday.
In a response to the court’s order asking it to explain as to how around 170 unmanned crossings on the railway tracks under the Ferozepur division will be maintained, a single bench of the High Court was informed that since the previous order in September all of them have been “eliminated” by constructing limited height subways, merging them with the adjacent level crossings and by temporary deployment of ex-servicemen and mobile
The reply was submitted through Senior Advocate Puneet Jindal in the form of an affidavit of D.K Singh, Senior Divisional Engineer, Northern Railway, Officer of Divisional Railway Manager Ferozepur. The court was also told that the steps have been taken in pursuance to a circular issued by Ministry of Railways in May 2018 for the elimination of unmanned level crossings keeping in view various accidents at such spots.
The High Court last year had taken suo moto note of the accidents taking place at the unmanned railway crossings during the hearing of a case filed by a Kapurthala family for compensation. The Ferozepur Division of Railways had been asked to devise technical methods for the prevention of such accidents.
Following the High Court orders, the Railways had started the construction of railway over bridges, under bridges, limited height sub-ways and diversions.
Many important towns of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir fall under the Ferozepur Division. Meanwhile, the High Court on Monday gave time till December 07 to the Railways counsel to seek instructions regarding the compensation to be paid to families of the victims, who have died at the unmanned crossings. The families of at least four victims of such accidents have petitioned before the High Court for compensation.