NEW DELHI: Following the death of 13 children at an unmanned railway crossing in UP on Thursday, Indian Railways announced that all 5,792 unmanned level crossings (UMLCs) will be eliminated by March 31, 2020. But the Railways has missed its March 2018 deadline of eliminating such crossings in stations having the highest footfall.
During a review meeting earlier this year, Railway Board Member Engineering MK Gupta had said that “all UMLCs are to be eliminated on priority basis and those on A,B,C (busy routes) rail routes be eliminated by March 2018”. The Southern Railway zone, Northern Railway zone and South Eastern zone sought extension of the deadline, which was then revised to June 2018.
According to the Railways, 58 UMLCs on the busiest routes are to be eliminated by June 2018.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said on Thursday that the deadline for eliminating all UMLCs in 11 zones will be September 2018. For the remaining five zones, deadlines will be set shortly.
The Railways said elimination of UMLCs had reduced accidents. There were 50 such accidents in 2014-15, 29 in 2015-16, 20 in 2016-17, 10 in 2017-18 and one so far this year.