Jul 28, 2016

7 Occupants Of A Road Van Died When The Van Dashed Against The Engine Of A Passenger Train In Bhadohi Sant Ravidas Nagar District) Of Uttar Pradesh

The Carelessness On The Part Of The Van Driver Led To This Tragic And Unfortunate Incident  

Railway Minister Expresses Profound Grief Over The Loss Of Innocent Lives

Railway Minister Announces Ex-Gratia Payments To The Victims On Humanitarian Ground

A three Member Committee of Railway Officers Constituted to Enquire Into The Incident

In Uttar Pradesh, one road VAN (TATA Magic) dashed against the engine of the Train 55125 Manduadih – Allahabad City Passenger Train at an unmanned level crossing between Katka and Madhosingh Stations in Bhadhohi (Sant Ravidas Nagar District) at 7:35 AM today i.e. 25.07.2016.
This accident site falls under Varanasi Division of North-Eastern Railway Zone. The road VAN was reportedly carrying school children. As a result of this incident, seven persons were killed (all VAN occupants) and seven persons received injuries. The injured have been admitted in the nearby hospitals. Divisional Railway Manager of Varanasi Division along with his branch officers and medical team rushed to the accident site. The local ambulance was immediately informed and accident relief medical train was also immediately ordered. The railway doctors are assisting the local doctors in the treatment of the injured persons. DRM Varanasi also visited the hospitals to meet the injured persons. The normalcy at the site was restored at 8:15 AM.
According to preliminary report, the accident took place because of the carelessness on the part of the driver of the ill-fated VAN. The Gate Mitra posted on duty at this unmanned level crossing tried hard to stop the VAN from crossing the tracks when the train was approaching. The VAN driver however ignored the caution and carelessly drove the vehicle through the level crossing resulting into this tragic incident.
Under the existing Motor Vehicles Act (Section131), the road user is supposed to take appropriate precautions while passing through the unmanned level crossing.  Clause 131 prescribes certain duties for a driver approaching an unmanned level crossing to ensure safe crossing of the vehicle in the interest of public safety. The text of the Section 131 is reproduced below : -

131. Duty of the driver to take certain precautions at unguarded railway level crossings. - Every driver of a motor vehicle at the approach of any unguarded railway level crossing shall cause the vehicle to stop and the driver of the vehicle shall cause the conductor or cleaner or attendant or any other person in the vehicle to walk up to the level crossing and ensure that no train or trolley is approaching from either side and then pilot the motor vehicle across such level crossing, and where no conductor or cleaner or attendant or any other person is available in the vehicle, the driver of the vehicle shall get down from the vehicle himself to ensure that no train or trolley is approaching from either side before the railway track is crossed

Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu has expressed profound grief over the loss of innocent lives in this unfortunate and tragic incident. On humanitarian grounds, as a special gesture Shri Suresh Prabhu has announced ex-gratia payments to the victims of this incident. It is Rs. two lakh in case of death, Rs. one lakh in case of grievous injury and Rs. twenty thousand in case of simple injury. A Committee of Railway Officer of Varanasi Division has been constituted to enquire into the incident.
Indian Railways has been conducting awareness campaigns to prevent occurrence of such unfortunate incident. The campaigns include organizing Nukkad Nataks (street plays), distribution of leaflets in and around unmanned level crossings, sending of mass SMS alerts to road users at around level crossings, advertisements and posters, special lectures in the educational institutions etc. Periodic special awareness drive to sensitize the public regarding usage of unmanned level crossings are also organized at regular intervals. Various steps like provision of road signages, repairing of approach roads, availability of height gauges, availability of danger mark over the height gauges, etc are being checked and ensured. Railway administration once again appeals to the public that they should take adequate precautions while passing through the unmanned level crossings.
As per the announcement by the Railway Minister in the Railway Budget this year, Ministry of Railways has made an action plan of eliminating almost all remaining broad-gauge unmanned level crossings numbering 6352 in the next three to four years. In addition, the Railways have already decided that all future new lines will be constructed in such a way that these will be free from unmanned level crossings.