Students of Anna University are conducting a study about accidents on railway tracks and possible measures to prevent it.
According to V. Pondramu, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Government Railway Police (GRP) (Egmore), the four students are pursuing their Master’s course in Transportation at the University. “They started the study earlier this month. They are analysing the cause of deaths, mainly on the railway tracks in the city and suburbs,” he said.
Once the study is completed by the end of this month, the students are expected to submit a report to the GRP officials. “They will suggest measures to prevent deaths on the track. We will try to implement the suggestions if feasible,” he said.
Stations such as Chromepet, Pallavaram, Kodambakkam and Mambalam are considered highly accident-prone by the GRP, especially due to a high concentration of habitations along the tracks. According to sources, over 300 accidents were recorded in the Beach–Tambaram route in 2013. “On a daily basis, at least two persons get run over by trains in Chennai’s suburbs,” said the source.
According to inspector general of police, Railways, Seema Agarwal, one of the main reasons for the deaths is trespassing due to breaches in walls along the railway tracks. “We along with senior railway officials inspected various stations including Chetpet, Kodambakkam, Nungambakkam, Guindy and St. Thomas Mount on Friday to check for the breaches. We will be closing them,” she said.
There are also plans to increase the height of the walls. “Crossing the tracks is dangerous as we cannot judge the speed of the train. We are planning to launch awareness programmes in colleges, school and slums near the railway tracks,” she said.
Meanwhile, some railway passengers state that people will continue to cross the tracks in railway stations if amenities are not provided by the railways. “There are no provisions for the elderly and the disabled in small and even in big stations such as Egmore. They too have to rely on foot overbridges to cross the track,” said M. Sundernathan, a senior citizen.