India to abolish all unmanned level crossings to improve citizen safety
India is currently home to the third largest railway network in the world, which is currently not supported by a strong infrastructure. However, the Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhu has announced that a “Mission Zero Incident” scheme will be implemented in order to abolish all unmanned level crossings on Broad Gauge within the next four years as a sub-project to the “Mission Zero Accident”, within his recent budget plans.
There have been increased efforts to raise awareness through various campaigns, leaflets, posters, lecturers and digital messaging in order to highlight its importance for citizens to be conscious of potential risks.
In 2014, 27,581 citizens died through railway-related accidents within, with over 3,500 injured, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.
In his budget speech, Prabhu said: “We intend to eliminate all unmanned level crossings on broad gauge in the next 3-4 years for which innovative financing mechanisms are being developed”
“A single accident or loss of a single life causes me great sorrow and anguish. It also demonstrates that we still have a long way to go in realizing our objective of a zero accident regime.”
As a short-term measure, the Ministry of Railways has sourced Gate Mitras (Gate Counsellors) to ensure road users take suitable measures to avoid any potential dangerous incidents at unmanned crossings. Out of 28,607 level crossings within the country, 9340 are currently unmanned.
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