New Delhi, Apr 26 (PTI) Hours after 13 children died in an accident at an unmanned level crossing in Uttar Pradesh today, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal held a review meeting in which it was decided that the progress in eliminating such crossings will be shared on a website to increase accountability, a statement from the ministry said.
During the meeting, Goyal reviewed the plan for elimination of unmanned level crossings across the railway network.
"A detailed review was done with the GMs of five critical zones with significant number of UMLCs... Progress of elimination of UMLCs will also be shared transparently online through a website to increase accountability and public monitoring," the statement read.
It said that Goyal, after taking charge as railway minister, had held a meeting on safety on September 7, 2017 and had directed that all unmanned level crossings (UMLCs) be eliminated in the next one year in a mission mode.
The ministry said that significant progress had been achieved in this regard with only 58 UMLCs remaining on the A, B and C routes which account for more than 80 per cent of the Indian Railways traffic.
"Target for eliminating UMLCs in 11 zones will be September 2018. For the remaining five zones targets will be set shortly and will be reviewed for early completion before the set target of 31 March 2020," the statement read.
The meeting, which started with a two-minute silence in the memory of the victims of the Kushinagar accident, was attended by the CRB, Railway Board members, Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety, general managers of five railway zones and other senior officials, the statement said.
The Railways said that there had been a 79 per cent reduction in UMLC accidents in the last four years -- from 47 accidents in 2013-14 to 10 in 2017-18.
"The average rate of elimination of UMLCs has also increased by nearly two thirds over the last four years. Now only 3,479 UMLCs remain on the Broad Gauge network," the statement said.
A multipronged strategy is now planned to eliminate the remaining UMLCs which will include manning of UMLCs, construction of Railway Under Bridges (RUBs), Railway OverBridges (Railway Over Bridges), diversion. This will be done through simultaneous execution of work in track sections. A detailed review was conducted with the GMs of five critical zones with significant number of UMLCs, the statement said.
Thirteen children on their way to school were killed when a train rammed into their van at an unmanned railway crossing in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh. Five others were injured as the Thawe-Kapatanganj passenger train hit the van carrying 25 people, mostly children between the ages of 8-10 years from Divine Public School, at 7 am.
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