K. Balchand

NEW DELHI: Get ready to receive an SMS from the Railways in the mornings to give you a wake-up call cautioning you to be careful while taking a level crossing.

Vivek Sahai, Member, Traffic, Railway Board has decided to extend the scheme he launched recently in the Northern Railway, of which he is the General Manager as additional charge.

The Northern Railway launched the scheme on December 12 sending SMS to about 10 lakh people each day covering areas with high density of unmanned level crossings. The railways transmit four types of SMS currently either in Hindi or Gurumukhi in Punjab.

The messages are designed to bring about attitudinal changes. They either cajole the people to change for the better or warn them of the consequences.

The officials conduct a survey of the impact of the SMS through a direct interaction with about a dozen people each day. “How long will you annoy me with such SMS?” shot back one of them. Mr. Sahai directed his officials to tell people that the railways would continue to until they changed for the better.

Currently, the railways are bearing a cost of 3.4 paisa per SMS and efforts are on to get the service provider to reduce the charge to one paisa with the offer that the target group will be expanded to include one crore people each day.

Meanwhile, Mr. Sahai has directed the General Manager of the South Eastern Railway to reward the two patrolmen who had detected a group of people trying to damage the track near Jhargram in West Bengal in the dead of night on Wednesday.

They reported the matter immediately to higher authorities stopping the Purushottam Express from taking the route. The railways sent an inspection train carrying RPF personnel and their report turned out to be true as the engine derailed.

Movement of trains on the route was affected for over six hours and the track was cleared for traffic at about 7.15 a.m.

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