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ISLAMABAD, Jan 10 (APP): In a bid to control train accidents across the country, Pakistan Railways(PR) has closed down around 58 unmanned level crossings in Lahore division.

“Pakistan Railways was going to revamp and upgrade the existing railway infrastructure through Main Line-I project of China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC) which would transform the overall organization and ensure safety of the travelling public,” an official in the Ministry of Railways told APP here on Sunday.

He said that Pakistan Railways was taking several measures to prevent accidents in future including up-gradation of 550 vulnerable unmanned level crossings in collaboration with the respective provincial governments.

The official said that the department had closed 58 out of the total 76 unmanned level crossings in various districts of the Lahore division.

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He said the level crossings were closed in collaboration with the departments concerned headed by the deputy commissioners in various districts falling within territorial jurisdiction of the railways Lahore division.

The official said the exercise was being carried out to avert accidents at unmanned level crossings and along the rail tracks, adding that the remaining 18 unmanned crossings would also be closed down soon.

Giving details of the districts where these unmanned crossings were identified include Sheikhupura 32, Kasur 5, Faisalabad 17, Narowal 7 and Sialkot 15, he added.

Last year, he said the office of Divisional Superintendent of Lahore division had informed the Punjab chief secretary about the existence of total unmanned 517 unmanned level crossings in various districts.

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It also mentioned Section 12 of the Railway Act of 1890 that says the district administration or road authority should bear the expenses for upgrade of these unmanned level crossings, he added.

He said the Directorate of Public Relations has circulated different video messages over social media for the awareness and information of general public regarding crossing the railway crossings in a safe way.

The official said the conversion of old age kerosene oil based signals with LED’s on main line, which have better visibility.

Training and refresher courses were being conducted regularly at the Pakistan Railway Academy Lahore.

He said that regular inspections in accordance with prescribed standards and quota were conducted by the officers and officials of Pakistan Railways to maintain safety standards.