Expressing concern over large number of deaths in accidents at unmanned railway level-crossings in the State, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday demanded immediate steps to stop such incidents.
“As these gates have become potential deathtraps, immediate steps should be taken by the Railways to either convert them into manned levelcrossings or construct road over/under bridges at these spots to avoid recurrence of such unfortunate incidents,” Naveen said in a letter to Railway Minister Mukul Ray. The Chief Minister said at present there are more than 600 unmanned railway level- crossings under East Coast Railway (ECoR). Recently, there have been a number of accidents at these crossings leading to loss of human life, he said.
On the morning of August 24, Naveen said, the Rourkela-Bhubaneswar Intercity Express rammed a tempo at an unmanned level- crossing at Khairapali near Sambalpur causing death of 14 poor daily wagers, he said and added five more persons are struggling for life in the hospital.
Naveen said during the last one year alone, 20 deaths have occurred due to accidents under the ECoR.