PUNE: As many as 540 people died and 145 were injured while crossing the railway tracks in Pune Railway Division between April 2017 and March 2018.
Although the railway officials have carried out several campaigns and awareness drives to make sure that those staying near the railway tracks use foot-over-bridges (FoB) to cross the tracks instead of risking their lives, people often do not follow the rules.
Railway officials said, “There are efforts by the Pune division to stop incidents of crossing tracks, but unfortunately, people in a hurry cross the tracks to save time. Many people walk on the tracks while listening to music through earphones, and so do not hear the approaching train and get run over.”
Divisional Railway Manager Milind Deouskar has expressed concern over this. “The division has identified places where people cross the railway tracks. There are remedies for preventing it by putting up fences, barricades or wall. Yet people try to cross the railway boundaries. Efforts are being made to make people aware by continuously running Nukkad Natak, Banner, Poster, Pallet, Information Board, through various communication channels and announcements at stations and special campaign by the division,” Deouskar said.
Harsha Shah of Railway Pravasi Group, a pro-passenger group, said while there is no way to stop those who want to commit suicide, trespassing can be checked by imposing a heavy penalty of Rs 10,000 and a year’s imprisonment.
“The present penalty is very less and so people are not afraid of being caught while crossing the tracks,” said Shah.
- Pimpri, Kasarwadi, Chinchwad, Dapodi, Khadki and Akurdi on the Pune-Lonavla block are sensitive areas where such incidents happen.
- Last year, 6,961 cases were registered against those crossing the tracks in Pune Division and Rs 7,32,200 fine collected from them.