The Government Railway Police (GRP) is planning to rope in college students and residents near railway stations to prevent people from crossing railway tracks.

The GRP is planning this measure as many persons have been run over by trains while crossing the tracks in different parts of the city and suburbs. Nearly a thousand persons lost their lives in 2013 while attempting to cross the tracks in Chennai Central–Arakkonam, Beach–Tambaram route and the Chennai Central–Gummidipoondi routes.

The GRP will be roping in youngsters to assist the police. “We are planning to approach NCC cadets and NSS volunteers from colleges and residents near railway stations. Apart from preventing people from crossing the tracks, they can also assist elderly and physically challenged persons in reaching their destination by taking sub-ways and foot overbridges,” said the officer.

According to the GRP, around 20 spots including Korukkupet, Perambur, Avadi, Ambattur and Mambalam have witnessed more deaths in 2013. “As of now, we have posted two policemen at each of these locations. They will work in two shifts of eight hours each and prevent people from crossing the railway tracks. This is apart from distributing pamphlets for creating awareness,” said a senior GRP officer.

The GRP will also be placing boards in these spots to create awareness about the dangers of crossing the tracks. “It is illegal to cross the tracks as it is meant only for trains. The average age of people who are run over by the trains is between 18 and 30 years,” said the officer.

T. Sadagopan, a consumer activist, said there are more level crossings in the western suburbs compared to the southern suburbs. “Due to this, a lot of accidents happen in this stretch. The railway police should think of installing mobile jammers in accident-prone spots. They can also install boards with pictures of accident victims to create awareness,” he said.

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