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Rail crossings to get safer

Jamshedpur, Jan. 25: The Chakradharpur railway division can hope to bid adieu to all its unmanned level crossings, and with it frequent mishaps on tracks, in the next couple of years.

General manager of South Eastern Railway (SER) A.K. Verma, while inspecting various railway stations under Chakradharpur division in neighbouring West Singhbhum district today, declared that all 829-odd unmanned level crossings in four divisions — Chakradharpur, Ranchi, Kharagpur and Adra — will be eliminated by 2015.

In Chakradharpur division alone, there are 275 unmanned level crossings.

“We are serious about bringing the number of accidents on tracks to nil. Most mishaps take place at unmanned level crossings. Keeping this in view, we have decided to eliminate such crossings, which is expected to check mishaps,” Verma told newsmen at Dongaposi during the inspection.

Railway officials accompanying the general manager revealed that measures like diversions and putting overhead bars, prohibiting movement of vehicles, would be adopted. Moreover, at several points, such unmanned level crossings will be closed.

Verma, who was accompanied by divisional railway manager (DRM) of Chakradharpur Rajeev Agarwal, inspected Jaruli, a loading point of iron-ore and other minerals that earns an annual revenue of more than Rs 1,000 crore — the highest in Indian Railway from a single loading point.

The general manager also inaugurated a state-of-the-art railway loading siding (RLS) of Tata Steel at Banspani. The siding has modern equipment, which help in faster loading of wagons.

Verma reviewed the condition of platforms, station buildings, lighting arrangements, running rooms, waiting halls, booking offices, computerised reservation centre and circulating areas.

Later in the day, he inspected Chaibasa and Chakradharpur railway stations and gave necessary instructions to officials for ensuring better upkeep and improving passenger amenities.

He also inspected the tunnels and bridges to take stock of the condition of such vital railway installations.

The senior railway official also met members of local chamber of commerce in Chaibasa and other public representatives and apprised them of initiatives taken by SER to improve safety and security arrangements and other passenger amenities.

Local MLA Geeta Koda, along with her supporters, met the railway general manager at Dongaposi.