A family living very close to the railway gate at Atlantis junction is finally heaving a sigh of relief after reaching a compromise with the Railways, which agreed to remove the barricades that have been set up on the way to the house.
Last year in September, the Railways had blocked the road leading to Lawrence’s house with wooden barricades, alleging that the house was illegally built on Railways land. Their family business had been suffering since then.
Since the house is located inside the railway gate, the Railways had decided that the movement of the family’s vehicles for business purposes would pose a security threat. The issue became intense when, prior to setting up the barricades, four vehicles were caught between the railway crossing.
However, according to the family, the road leading to their house is on a separate path and does not affect the working of the railway gate. Also, the family has maintained that the house was built long before the railway gate was set up in the area when the line was commissioned.
“Our house was built in the 1950s. When the railway line was commissioned later, the Railways had set up the gate. They had not provided any compensation for us to move away from the location and that is why we stayed on. It was unfair to block the route to our house as we also run a small business here”, the family members said.
Despite frequent requests to remove the barricades, the Railways had maintained that the family had encroached on the land. The family then sought an out of court settlement. The barricades have now been removed.
In order to avoid further hassles Rajesh Agarwal, the Railway Divisional Manager, Thiruvananthapuram has asked the family to meet with him in Thiruvananthapuram for a discussion.
Sources and Lawrence’s family state that the issue of the railway gate could be resolved if the gate was slightly shifted nearer to the railway tracks.