The Aroor railway mishap points to the need to regulate railway gates on the Ernakulam-Kayamkulam stretch. A number of proposals for setting up railway over bridges (RoBs) have been due for some time now. “There’s an urgent need to regulate the number of level crossings, both manned and unmanned. Within the 90-kms Ernakulam-Kayamkulam stretch there are about 100 gates. That is unnecessary. Recently, Railways appointed gatemen and increased the number of manned gates in the region. The demand to set up RoBs should also be considered,” Southern Railway Mazdoor Union (SRMU) divisional president P Unnikrishnan said.
A number of RoB projects, sanctioned by the Centre many years ago have been pending for some time. “It was about five years ago that the Mooledam and Kumaranalloor (Kottayam) RoB projects were approved by the Railway Ministry. Similarly, the Karithas RoB project got approval about two years ago. The authorities should urgently look into the issue,” said Paul Manvettom, president, All Kerala Railway Users’ Association.
Two years ago the officials had promised to convert all unmanned railway crosses in the region to manned, said Advocate Mathew Paul, general secretary, All-Kerala Railway Passengers’ Association.
“The decision taken by the Railway officials to convert all unmanned level crosses to manned has not been implemented,” he said.