Broad gauge lines to be free from unmanned level crossings soon
Authorities advanced the March 2020 deadline after the Gorakhpur incident.
However, this deadline was advanced in the wake of the Gorakhpur tragedy. The reduction in UMLCs has brought down the number of accidents at these crossings. In 2009-10, as many as 65 people died at these crossings, while this number came down to 10 in 2017-18.
Besides the 77 unmanned crossings on the broad gauge, there are 1,135 on metre gauge and 1,178 on the narrow gauge lines. However, there is no such plan for the narrow gauge routes as these are mostly in hilly areas and the speed is very low. The official said priority is given to busy tracks while the ones where only one or two trains pass in a day, will be taken up later.
Soon after taking charge, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had held a meeting of top Railway officials on 7 September last year, especially on the safety issues. During the meeting, he had directed that all UMLCs should be eliminated in the next one year.
In the meeting, it was decided to adopt a multipronged strategy to eliminate the remaining UMLCs which would include manning, construction of railway under-bridges, diversions etc. It was also decided to share the progress of elimination work transparently online through a website to increase accountability and public monitoring.