Unmanned railway crossings a fatal threat

The irony is that despite occurrence of fatal train accidents, the government has failed to devise a strategy

Fahad Zulfikar January 29, 2017
People cross unmanned railway crossings in Sargodha and Gujranwala. PHOTOS: ONLINE

SARGODHA: Unmanned railway crossings across Punjab have claimed lives of several innocent citizens during the last several years. However, the government has yet to take concrete measures to address the matter.

Statistics reveal that during the last five years, more than 100 people - including school children, women and men - have lost their lives and 160 sustained injuries in around 800 accidents at manned and unmanned level crossings all over the country.

Proposal to reduce railway crossing closure time  

The irony is that despite occurrence of fatal train accidents, the government has failed to devise a comprehensive strategy or come up with an effective plan to counter the problem.

In a tragic incident on January 23, 2017, at least six members of a family were crushed to death when train hit their car at an unmanned railway crossing near Gojra. The vehicle bearing registration number LSJ-6464 carrying six people was going across an unmanned crossing near Chak No 93 when Lahore-bound Shalimar Express hit it.

Train kills six of family in Gojr

The deceased of the same family, including a woman and a child, were on their way from Sillanwali, Sargodha to see some relatives in a village. Later, hundreds of villagers staged a protest demonstration on the track for two hours demanding installation of a manned gate on the crossing.

There is a long list of such incidents that happened in the past and continue to occur from time to time but the government’s neglect and delay has made the situation even worse.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 30th, 2017.


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