Death haunts railway tracks

808 people killed in 2013 as compared to 604 in 2012, an increase by 20 per cent.

Hyderabad: Death seems to stalk the railway tracks of the state capital and its suburbs.

In 2013, 808 people were killed on the city’s railway tracks among whom 604 died while walking along the tracks or crossing them.

Compared to 2012, the deaths increased by nearly 20 per cent last year, reveal Railway Police data.

Railway police officials said that most of the victims were either drunk and walking on the tracks late at night, careless walkers who were listening to music on their earphones while walking on the tracks or those who had underestimated the trains’ speed while crossing the tracks.

A senior police official from Secunderabad Railway division said that many people choose to walk alongside the tracks, using them as shorcuts, to reach their destination.

“There are no proper fences on either side of the railway tracks and this encourages people to walk along the tracks. In places like Uppuguda, many people, including students, have easy access to the tracks,” said the official.

Two days ago, a man and his 10-year-old son were killed while they were crossing the railway track at Lalapet.

“The victims, 35-year-old Vijay from Lalaguda and his son Manoj, who was a student of a government school in Neredment, were heading to the school in the morning. Since it was a short-cut, they usually walked alongside the track and crossed it to reach the school. On Saturday, a train mowed down both of them,” said Mahesh, SI at the Secunderabad Railway station.

Apart from the main railway tracks, MMTS railway lines have also proved to be fatal. The lines between Hafeezpet and Borabanda, and Vidyanagar and Falaknuma were found to be the deadliest tracks in the city with the maximum number of deaths. Since the frequency of MMTS trains are high, the accidents are also frequent.

Experts say that lack of vigil and proper awareness among the masses are the reasons behind these increasing accidents.

“The railway tracks are so porous. There are neither signboards prohibiting people going on to the tracks, nor vigil from concerned departments to check this trend,” said a senior police official.

Meanwhile, the increasing deaths and their investigations have become a burden for the Railway Police due their frequency. The police is yet to confirm the nature of 120 deaths (whether they were accidents, murders or suicides) on railway tracks in the city last year.

S. Tripati, SP, Secunderabad Railway Division, said that railway police was making maximum efforts to solve them.

“Unlike in the past, we have now started inquiring with the engine driver, who witness the accidents, to know the nature of deaths,” he said.

( Source : dc )
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