Pune: The Pune railway division will construct a wall along the 1,200 km stretch of their jurisdiction at a cost of Rs 700 crore to put an end to trespassing on the railway tracks. The decision was taken after Railway Board Engineering finalised the project in November 2018.
Milind Deouskar, Divisional Railway Managar (DRM) Pune, said, “We have tried various ways to prevent trespassing and even put obstructions, but people make their way somehow and it is a major cause of concern.”
“Similarly, concerned over the rising number of deaths on the tracks, we decided to construct the wall along the tracks to prevent intrusion. It would cost us around Rs 700 crore. The wall will be built along the 1,200-km stretch in the division. Interestingly, the cost of constructing a one km long boundary wall is Rs 60 lakh.” he said.
After the incident in Amritsar in October, when a train mowed down 60 people who had gathered on the tracks to watch a Ravan effigy being burnt at a Dussehra celebration, the Indian Railways has decided to build 3,000 km of walls to fence its tracks and ward off trespassers in residential areas. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had taken the decision days after the Amritsar mishap. The Railways had estimated that the project will cost about Rs 2,500 crore.
“We have been organising campaigns, holding meetings with the locals, trying to remove encroachments near the rail tracks and also build boundary walls. But there has not been much of a difference and the number of deaths has increased. We need a better strategy to control the menace. We will take a closer look at the black spots, study them again, and send a proposal to the headquarters,” Deouskar said.
Accident prone areas
The division has identified few spots, which are accident prone. From January to November 2018, the division has recorded 514 deaths due to trespassing. In 2017, it recorded 460 deaths. 156 were injured in 2018 and in 2017 93 were injured.