Expressing concern over the large number of deaths in accidents at unmanned Railway level-crossings in the state, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday demanded immediate steps to avoid the recurrence of such tragic incidents.
“As these gates have become potential death traps, immediate steps should be taken by the Railways to either convert them into manned level crossings or construct road over/under bridges at these spots so as to avoid the recurrence
of such unfortunate incidents,” he said in a letter to Union Railway Minister
Mukul Roy. The Chief Minister said that at present there are more than 600 unmanned Railway level crossings in the East Coast Railway (ECR).
According to Naveen, there have a number of accidents lately at unmanned level-crossings which resulted in the loss of several precious lives.
And Naveen recalled the mishap on August 24 morning, when the Rourkela-Bhubaneswar Inter-city Express rammed a trolley autorickshaw at an unmanned level crossing at Khairapali near Sambalpur in Western Odisha resulting in the deaths of 14 poor daily-wage earners.
Five of the victims who suffered grievous injuries in the accident persons are battling for life in hospital, he said.
Further, the Chief Minister said that during the last one year 20 deaths had occured due to accidents at unmanned railway level-crossings in the ECR.