Railways requires Rs11 bln for manning level-crossings

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Railways requires Rs11 bln for manning level-crossings

ISLAMABAD, Sep 4 (APP): In a bid to prevent accidents on railway tracks, the Ministry of Railways requires approximately Rs 11 billion to ensure level-crossings manned across the country.
“In terms of section 12 of the Railway Act 1890, the responsibility for upgradation of unmanned level crossing lies with the concerned provincial governments and road authorities,” sources in the Ministry of Railways told APP.
However, for upgradation of the railway level crossings, they said Pakistan Railways would provide all possible technical assistance to the concerned authorities.
They informed that there were over 2,000 unmanned railway level crossings and the Pakistan Railways was quite serious in installing gates at the vulnerable unmanned level crossings with the cooperation of concerned provinces.
In this regard, they said, Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique had written letters to chief executives of all provinces to release funds for the conversion of un-manned level crossings into manned level crossings.
They said the Punjab government had released Rs 555 million where 95 percent most deadly unmanned level crossings had so far been made manned.
“Pakistan Railways has asked rest of provinces to join hands with the department to protect scores of precious lives of the people,” the sources added.
To a question, they informed that 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 during last five years.
“The new accident compensation policy had been introduced and now Rs 1 million were being given in case of casualty and Rs 300,000 in case of injury under the postal insurance scheme,” they informed.
They said that migration of rural population to towns, reduction of agricultural land near cities and their conversion into dwelling units, increase in vehicles number and the growing intolerance among the public primarily owing to inflation and unemployment were the main causes that resulted in rise in accidents at the unmanned level crossings.
The sources said the deployment of the staff on these unmanned railway crossings would be carried out with the assistance of the respective provincial governments.