Drive on Railway safety, prohibited items in full swing

Pakistan Railways

ISLAMABAD, MAR 25 (DNA) — Pakistan Railways awareness campaign was in full swing in order to raise public knowledge of the dangers of trespassing, crossing railroad tracks, and carrying forbidden objects like gas cylinders, guns without a license, cartridges, drugs, and daggers.

“The campaign was launched on the directives of Minister for Railways Shahid Ashraf Tarar and Secretary Syed Mazhar Ali Shah which will not help the department to control accidents but also win the confidence of the passengers of the rail” an official told media.

The official said, “Pakistan Railways will use all the social media platforms including print, electronic media, twitter, Facebook, poster and pamphlets to create an awareness among the citizens about a safe train journey.”

He said the department has also asked all the divisional superintendents to ensure checking of luggage of passengers at entry points with scanners, metal detectors and walkthrough gates. He said Pakistan Railways had always given importance to the safety of citizens and its passengers.

“It has been directed to discourage and stop those passengers who are carrying prohibited products. It is suggested to install emergency doors and auto-lock doors in coaches in case of any emergency,” he added.

The official urged the citizens to stop at the level crossing before crossing the track, look on both sides of the track and wait for the train to pass if any train was coming. He said that double whistle boards had been provided at most of level crossings where train drivers were bound to play horn to warn the road users about train arrival.

To a question, he said, “Pakistan Railways has converted approximately 181 un-manned level crossings to manned level crossings across the country, out of 550 identified by the department over the entire railway network in over one year.”

“The relevant provincial government provided the finances to Pakistan Railways for the up-gradation of un-manned level crossings in the country,” he said. He said the department was taking several steps including the up-gradation of unmanned and vulnerable railway level crossings across the country in collaboration with respective provincial governments.

The official said there were two types of level crossings over the Pakistan Railways network, un-manned and manned level crossings, adding that the un-manned level crossings were without gate leaves. “There is a total of 1,565 unmanned level crossings over the entire railway network and as per railway policy in vogue, the up-gradation of any unmanned or manned level crossing is the responsibility of road owning authority,” he added.

The said that un-manned level crossings without gates leaves and gate men, were previously provided where ‘Kacha path’ with low traffic volume crosses the railway track to facilitate movement of locals, farmers and carts at their own risks.

However, he said, “Due to high risk of accidents on existing un-manned level crossings, construction and provision of new un-manned level crossing is completely banned on entire Railway system as per Railway policy for level crossings from 2019.” — DNA