Chennai: Avoid crossing railway tracks, and if you have to because there are no foot overbridges, make sure you avoid using earphones. Otherwise, you will end up writing an assurance letter to your parents or relatives. This is the new strategy adopted by the Government Railway Police (GRP) to prevent deaths on tracks.
In 2016 alone, 708 persons have been run over in the Chennai GRP district. There are over 400 stations in the district including Arakonnam, Katpadi and Coimbatore. A majority of those killed were listening to music or speaking using earphones. “The train covers around 250 m in four seconds. By the time people turn, the train would have run over them,” said an engineer.
In an attempt to bring down the number of such deaths, GRP personnel will intercept those using earphones while crossing tracks and provide them with postcards. “We make them fill their address and also write a letter to their parents. We will post the letters,” said S. Sekhar, GRP inspector, Tambaram.
The GRP started this campaign a few days ago in Pallavaram and Chromepet stations. A GRP policeman in each station has been assigned the duty of creating awareness. “We are also contacting schools and colleges near stations to create awareness,” added a senior GRP officer.
K. S. Gopalakrishnan, former zonal railway users consultative committee member, Pattabiram, was however sceptical of the impact of such programmes. “The police have to impose fines and fix warning boards in stations,” he said.
Commuters said that the Southern Railway should close the gap in the compound walls and construct more foot overbridges.
“RPF personnel should be posted during peak hours to prevent crossing of tracks,” said P. Viswanathan, a social worker from Chitlapakkam.]]>