This Indian Railways project, worth Rs 3,000 crore, will curb fatal accidents on tracks and increase speed of trains.
It has only been one month since the terrible train accident near the Joda Phatak in Amritsar, Punjab, which killed almost 60 people and injured even more. The reason? Two trains that were speeding down the tracks - in opposite directions. Around 300 people had gathered to watch the burning of Ravana, when the Jalandhar-Amritsar DMU ran into the crowd and caused a huge commotion, while the second one--Amritsar-Howrah Express--killed the ones who’d jumped tracks to save themselves from the first.
To prevent such tragedies and address the issue of trespassing railway tracks, the Indian Railways will build walls along 3,300 km of railway tracks by the end of December 2019.
The RCC (Reinforced Cement Concrete) wall will be 2.7m tall and be built at a cost of Rs 3,000 crore.
Besides curbing accidents on tracks, the wall will also allow trains to run at a speed of 160 kmph.
The walls will be built on high-density lines that are prone to more accidents. A wall of about 967km will be built between Delhi-Mumbai Central stations, Delhi-Howrah and another 901km for the Golden Quadrilateral and its diagonals, reports Business Today.
In addition, the plan will also fence the Delhi-NCR region. In an official statement, Vishwesh Chaube, Member-Engineering of the Railway Board, said,
We have decided to build these walls in vulnerable areas primarily to prevent encroachment, movement of cattle and trespassing. For example, hitting heavy cattle can lead to derailments and we want to avoid that.
A report by the high-level-safety review committee, led by scientist Anil Kakodkar, stated a few reasons for trespassing including lack of fencing, barricading and absence of foot over bridge, reports Financial Express.
Railway zones across the country have been asked to identify such hazardous/accident-prone routes that are often used by people to cross the tracks near major stations.
The wall along the 800km stretch of the Delhi-Mumbai-Calcutta-Chennai Golden Quadrilateral is likely to be completed by June 2019. The Indian Railways claims that the remaining 2,500km stretch will be covered by December 2019.