With 540 fatal accidents between April 2017 and March 2018 due to rail trespassing, the Pune-Lonavla section of Pune railway division is the most accident-prone, said officials from the railway division on Wednesday. Trespassing is rampant on the stretch and authorities concerned are taking the necessary efforts to curb the same, railway officials added.To effectively tackle the issue, the railway administration has identified seven major black spots on the Pune-Lonavla stretch where accidents relating to trespassing are most prevalent.
Speaking about the issue, Milind Deouskar, Pune divisional railway manager, said, “There are many spots on the Pune-Lonavla route which are prone to accidents caused by people trespassing railway tracks in large numbers. This is mainly because of encroachments around railway stations and people tend to enter from gaps in walls and trespass tracks to enter the station. Also, many want to save time and do not use the foot over bridge and are seen crossing tracks. To avoid trespassing, we have identified seven black spots along the Pune-Lonavla route and the administration will take the necessary action to curb accidents on this route.”
Deouskar added that the timetable of trains is also affected adversely due to trespassing accidents as most trains run back to back.“Accidents due to trespassing result in a delay in the train queue, which has a cascading effect. The timetable of all trains scheduled on that route gets affected due to this,” he added.
According to railway officials, the black spots identified by them, where trespassing is rampant, are Pimpri, Chinchwad, Akurdi, Kasarwadi, Dapodi, Ghorpadi and Khadki. The railway administration will target these locations with special initiatives to tackle track trespassing.
We are intensifying our drive against trespassers and are also planning to fence station walls to avoid illegal entry points to railway stations, which would tremendously reduce trespassing, officials added.
According to the data available with the administration, every year, roughly 6,000 people are caught trespassing tracks and the number has failed to reduce due to the ignorance of people. Officials added that deaths due to trespassing were 354 in 2015, which dropped to 295 in 2016, and then increased to 540 between April 2017 and March 2018.