21 cases reported in Mysore division in three months

A safety drive launched by the Mysore division of South Western Railway has brought to the fore violation of norms, such as train passengers carrying inflammable materials.

Before launching the drive, the authorities presumed that the number of passengers carrying inflammable materials — which are banned under the Railways Act — might be insignificant . But they were in for a surprise when 21 such cases were reported in the last three months in Mysore division alone.

K. Ravi Kumar, Senior Divisional Safety Officer, told The Hindu that most of these cases pertained to passengers carrying kerosene. There had been a few instances of detecting LPG cylinders alongside passengers’ baggage. “Of late, there is a rise in the number of passengers carrying firecrackers ahead of Deepavali. We have begun to crack down on them,” he said.

Mr. Ravi Kumar said the safety drives to detect inflammable materials were stepped up after a fire accident involving New Delhi-Chennai Tamil Nadu Express, which claimed more than 30 lives. “Railway intelligence pointed to a tendency among workers migrating from small places to large towns and cities to carry kerosene for cooking. This is reckoned to be high during weekends. Special teams were constituted following which eight cases were detected in September, six in October and seven in the first week of November,” he added.

“There is a tendency among vehicle owners who transport their two-wheelers by train to leave a small quantity of petrol in the fuel tank. We are cracking down on this too,” Mr. Ravi Kumar said.

In the run-up to Deepavali, there is special focus on trains coming from Tamil Nadu as passengers tend to buy firecrackers from that State as they are relatively cheap there . The authorities are carrying out searches on board the Kaveri Express, Tuticorin Express and Mayilduthurai Express which terminate at Mysore.

On November 4, a woman passenger alighting from the Tuticorin–Mysore Express was apprehended with a box of firecrackers in Mysore. On November 5, a family was caught with two boxes of firecrackers while it was boarding the Mysore–Tuticorin Express. In both the cases, firecrackers were confiscated and the offenders prosecuted. On November 6, a family was caught in Mysore with an LPG cylinder and stove. Mr. Ravi Kumar and P.K. Mohandas, Divisional Safety Commissioner, Railway Protection Force (RPF), have appealed to the people against carrying inflammable materials during their journey. “The law not only stipulates a fine of Rs. 1,000, but carries with it a three-year imprisonment term too,” they said.

Mr. Mohandas said the RPF had stepped up vigil at Hassan, Ariskere, Shimoga, and Davangere. Passengers who suspect inflammable materials on board may call 0821-2420216 or 2427222 for security assistance. “We will alert the nearest RPF unit on the train’s route and they will seize the material,” Mr. Mohandas added.

  • Most of these cases pertained to passengers carrying kerosene

  • There have been instances of detecting LPG cylinders alongside passengers’ baggage