In less than a minute, as many as 61 people died in the tragic train accident in Amritsar on October 19. As people were busy watching a Ravana effigy being burnt while blocking the railway tracks, the train mowed down the people who stood on tracks. Why wouldn’t people follow the safety rules? Is there any need to witness such thing on railway track? Had it not been for distraction, people would be safe now.
According to the official data from the Indian Railways, nearly 50,000 people died between 2015 and 2017 on railway tracks after being hit by trains. The exact data provided by the railways describes, 49,790 deaths to have happened when people were mowed by trains on tracks in the mentioned years. Most of the deaths were reported from the Northern Railway zone- 7,908, followed by 6,149 deaths- Southern Railway zone and 5,670 deaths- Eastern Railway zone.
The Government Railway Police (GRP) segregated data on such deaths zone-wise except for the data of this year, railways said Sunday. The reason for deaths on railway tracks is easily predictable. We have seen people trespassing, violating safety and cautionary steps, avoiding over-bridges, using mobile phones and other gadgets when crossing railway tracks.
Officials gave a statement that the Indian Railways has taken corrective measures like frequent announcements through passenger address system at stations, advising passengers to take foot-over-bridges (FOBs). In addition to that, awareness drives against trespassing were also conducted and construction of boundary walls, warning signs and cautionary instructions were placed in a bid to prevent accidental deaths on railway tracks.
Unauthorised trespassing on railway premises, including on railway tracks, is a punishable offence under Section 147 of the Railways Act, 1989. As of this year’s September, 1,20,923 people were arrested and prosecuted by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) for trespassing the railway system.
Under Section 147 of Indian Railway Act, a massive fine of Rs 294 million was imposed on them by courts during the period, as per the data provided by the railways. Last year alone, 1,75,996 people were arrested and prosecuted by the RPF for intruding the railway system and a total fine of Rs 435 million was imposed on them.
So, a total fine of 729 million rupees has been paid by the passengers in the last two years itself. Assuming the facts, Railways could have surely collected 1 billion rupees in the last three years. Kindly advise the passengers not to use mobile phones or any electronic gadgets while crossing the railway track. You might save someone’s life.