The Government Railway Police have decided to act tough against those found walking on or along the railway track, as such trespassers often became victims of fatal accidents, Inspector-General of Police (Railways) C.V. Rao has said.

“People walking along the railway track is a common sight, particularly in the EMU (suburban train) sector between Chennai Egmore and Tambaram. Many youths, including girls, are found speaking on their mobile phones while walking on or close to the tracks. Such negligence is one of the main causes of accidental deaths,” he said.

Talking to The Hindu here on Monday, Mr. Rao said many office-goers and students could be seen walking along the track to reach their office or residence located near railway stations. “If the sound of a train is heard, they just step a couple of feet away from the track. One of our women police constables was injured recently. We want to put an end to this menace by imposing penalty on charges of trespassing.”

Special teams were deployed for foot patrolling in the Chennai Egmore-Tambaram stretch. Similar instructions were given to the police across the zone. Travelling by the footboard was also a main cause of accidental deaths. “Adherence to simple safety measures can prevent such deaths. In many cases, the bodies are mutilated beyond recognition. Southern Railway has proposed to construct a compound wall on either side of the track in vulnerable areas.”

Mr. Rao said the number of crimes on rail routes had come down marginally in 2009 compared to the previous year. “A majority of the cases pertain to baggage thefts on running trains. We have noticed that the thefts are more on the Chennai-Madurai and Chennai-Coimbatore routes. High-resolution surveillance cameras are being installed at major railway stations.”

In order to help passengers lodge complaints, an email account “ grptamilnadu@gmail.com” was created recently. “We registered an FIR on complaints received through this email and copies were sent to complainants based in New Delhi, Mumbai etc. Calls and SMS to helpline number “9962500500” were steadily on the rise and most of the complaints pertained to thefts, nuisance and sudden illness on running trains.”

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