Indian Railways is planning to advance the deadline for complete elimination of unmanned level crossings (UMLCs).
According to an official of the Ministry of Railways, the target for eliminating UMLCs in 11 zones has been set for September this year. There are a total of 16 railway zones across the country and the target for the remaining five zones would be announced shortly. The earlier deadline for completely eliminating the UMLCs was March 2020.
There are a total of 5,792 UMLCs out of which 3,479 are on the broad gauge network, which are of major concern for the Indian Railways. Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal chaired a meeting with Railway Board chairman and members, Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety, general managers of different Railway zones and other senior officials in the capital recently during which he reviewed the plan to completely eliminate UMLCs.
The meeting assumes significance as it was held after the Kushinagar (Gorakhpur) incident in which 13 school children were killed on the spot and eight others injured on 26 April.
This is to be noted that Goyal’s first meeting, after taking charge as Railway Minister, was on safety issues on 7 September last year. During the meeting, he had directed that all UMLCs should be eliminated in the next one year.
The official said significant progress has been achieved with only 58 UMLCs remaining on the A, B and C routes which account for more than 80% of the Indian Railways traffic.