Kochi

156 booked under ‘Life is Precious’ drive

Over 200 lives lost in accidents on railway tracks this year; RPF also conducting awareness campaigns

The Railway Protection Force (RPF) has booked 156 persons in the Thiruvananthapuram Railway Division under various sections of the Indian Railways Act in the last couple of months as part of its ongoing ‘Life is Precious’ campaign.

Prosecution mode

The initiative was launched earlier this year with the objective of preventing untoward incidents leading to needless loss of lives on railway tracks. Initially, the campaign was confined to awareness through distribution of leaflets and sensitisation through the public announcement system at railway stations before the RPF switched to prosecution mode two months ago.

The significance of the campaign was further driven home when a military man met with a tragic end when he was crushed between a train coach and the platform while trying to board a moving train at the Ernakulam Junction station in the early hours of Thursday.

“We constantly come across incidents like jaywalking across railway tracks, boarding the train from the offside [by crossing the rail], boarding and alighting moving trains, using mobile phones while boarding and leaving trains, all of which could lead to needless loss of lives,” said T.S. Gopakumar, Assistant Security Commissioner, RPF, Ernakulam.

Late arrival at station

He said in cases of accidents caused by attempting to board moving trains, often tragedy is caused by late arrival at stations.

Even when that happens they could rather choose to wait for the next train than attempt the dangerous act of trying to board the moving train, Mr. Gopakumar added.

Those found guilty of such offences are charged under Sections 147 (Trespass and refusal to desist from trespass) and 156 (Travelling on roof, step or engine of a train) of the Indian Railways Act, entailing fine and imprisonment or both.

Last year, as many as 276 lives were lost in the Thiruvananthapuram railway division in such avoidable incidents. The number has only risen this year and has long surpassed the 200-mark.

Meetings

Though the RPF has already switched to the prosecution mode, they also continue to conduct awareness campaigns, apart from issuing warnings through the public announcement system in three different languages. Besides, meetings of stakeholders, including passenger associations, railway porters, and taxi and autorickshaw operators, are held from time to time.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 9:40:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/156-booked-under-life-is-precious-drive/article30043106.ece

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