Prabhat Sahay (right) and G Mallya in Ranchi on Friday. (Hardeep Singh)
Safety on tracks and security of passengers will remain the priorities of the South Eastern Railway (SER), its zonal additional general manager Prabhat Sahay said on Friday.
In the wake of the August 19 Dhamara Ghat tragedy in Bihar, in which 28 people were mowed down by a train while they were crossing tracks, Sahay visited the state capital on a maiden inspection of Ranchi and Hatia stations.
“If the local administration co-ordinates well with the railways, such accidents can be averted. If there is a big public gathering or a social function near tracks, the administration must inform us. We are ready to bring down speed of trains to 15kmph in such situations,” Sahay added.
The SER zone in the state includes two railway divisions — Ranchi and Chakradharpur.
The senior zonal official maintained that public awareness was a must to ensure safety on tracks. He urged the media to take up the issue and spread awareness among people about railway safety rules, particularly while crossing unmanned level crossings.
“Fatal accidents at unmanned crossings amount for 60 per cent of deaths on tracks. Precautions taken by the railways alone will not be able to bring down this toll. People will have to obey rules,” Sahay said.
He, however, sounded happy with the maintenance of the two important stations that cater to more than 15,000 passengers daily.
Sahay also announced that the SER was trying to procure another Linke Holfmann Busch (LHB) coach for the Ranchi-Delhi Rajdhani. At present, only one Rajdhani boasts the spacious and super-safe compartment.
Divisional railway manager of Ranchi G. Mallya, who accompanied Sahay during the inspection, said the division was planning to set up elevators on platforms at both Ranchi and Hatia stations to aid disabled and elderly passengers.
“However, the plan is just at proposal level and it will take some time to materialise,” Mallya added.