NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today expressed the hope that the Centre will do the needful to ensure that unmanned railway crossings, reasons for major human tragedies, become a thing of the past.
"They are acting on this," the social justice bench of justices Madan B Lokur and U U Lalit said when a lawyer said that only 5,000 unmanned railways crossings have been converted into manned ones in the last 35 years.
The bench referred to the Centre's recent reply and said "Forget the past, we have to consider what they (Railways Ministry) are saying today."
"In the year 2013-14, 1,102 unmanned railway crossings have been eliminated," it said.
There are nearly 14,000 unmanned railway crossings in the country.
The Railways Minister, in the budget speech yesterday, had said that the ministry plans to eliminate a total of 3,438 level crossings at a cost of Rs 6,581 crore by constructing Road Over Bridges (ROB) and Road Under Bridges (RUB).
Earlier, the apex court had sought a response from the Centre on a plea to examine the issue of children's safety at unmanned railway crossings.
The plea has highlighted several accidents in different states in which children, a large number of them being school-going, were reported to have been killed in mishaps at unmanned railway crossings.