Soon unmanned level crossings to become a thing of the past in South Central Railway

M Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on May 28, 2018

Come September, Unmanned Level Crossings (UMLCs) will be history in the South Central Railway (SCR) Zone, according to the Railways. The Zone is implementing an action plan that will ensure that the 87 UMLCs will be eliminated under its jurisdiction.

On May 25 the last of the hurdles under the Hyderabad Division was closed with the completion of the road-under-bridge. Secunderabad and Vijayawada division have already achieved their targets by fully closing them, a press release from SCR claimed.

UMLCs, which are ubiquitous on all routes, have existed for decades, and often turn into risky crossings that have led to several avoidable accidents, with not just humans but in many cases animals being run over by trains. The Railway Ministry had taken up the task of eliminating UMLCs several years ago.

All-India scenario

The Railways Ministry plans to eliminate all UMLCs by March 2020. This was stated by Ashwani Lohani, Chairman, Railway Board in April. He was reacting to a ghastly mishap at a UMLC in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh wherein 13 school children died and five were injured when a train rammed into the their van carrying 25, mostly children.

According to reports, he said the Railways had removed 1,565 UMLCs in 2017-18 and the target was to remove 1,600 in 2018-19. However, the responsibility lies with road users and transporters, who need to take precautions. Elimination of UMLCs has led to a reduction in accidents. The task for the Railways is cut out with just over 5,000 UMLCs still remaining across its gigantic network.

SCR Mission

The General Manager of SCR, Vinod Kumar Yadav, said as part of providing enhanced safety and avoiding loss of human lives dues to accidents at UMLCs, the Zone had closed down 60 level crossings in the first two months of the current fiscal. Already, entire Telangana and most of Andhra Pradesh have now become safe regions, he added.

South Central Railway also eliminated 137 UMLCs during the financial year 2017-18 through various measures including manning the gates, construction of road under bridges/ limited height subways and by diversion of road traffic, the release added.

Published on May 28, 2018

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