By the year 2020, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and his ministry intends to do away with unmanned railway crossings. It is a major cause of concern for the railways as the number of casualties are reported at unmanned crossings every year. Prabhu also added that “Indian Railways have become a target for sabotage, so they have established a forensic wing which will collect sufficient evidence. Also, anti-collision devices are being installed to minimise the number of accidents occurring every year.”
Titbits: Indian Railways presently carries more than 22.1 million passengers every day.
There will be satellite-based chip systems which will now alert road users at unmanned level crossings about the approaching trains.
On an experimental basis, Mumbai and Guwahati Rajdhani trains will now be equipped with this system. There will be hooters at 20 unmanned level crossings on the Rajdhani routes for Guwahati and Mumbai.
A senior Railway Ministry official involved with the project stated that, “While the Railways have eliminated 1,148 unmanned crossings in 2014-15 and 1,253 in 2015-16, it has scaled up its target and now plans to eliminate all such crossings in the next 2 to 3 years”.
Prabhu in his statement added that 40,000 coaches are being retrofitted with a new coupling device which will help the trains to not get derailed. He also said, by 2023, India will see bullet trains that will run between Ahmedabad and Mumbai.