The Death Tracks of Ludhiana

The Indian Railways' claim to fame is that it is one of the biggest railway networks in the world. Over 25 million Indians use this network to travel across the country. However, it has also got the dubious reputation of being the cause of deaths of over 10,000 people in "trespassing" accidents in the year 2012. While the administration likes to claim that "trespassing" is simply a bad habit of most people to cross railway tracks instead of using bridges or underpasses, our Community Correspondent Jai Kumar shows us how 'trespassing' is the only way to go to Sherpur. Ludhiana, Punjab is an important railway junction in the north of India. The newly laid freight corridor however, connecting Ludhiana to Kolkata with the purpose of meeting transport requirements of metal & mineral based industries has turned out to be a bane for the people of Sherpur village. Not only are these tracks the only way to get to Sherpur, they also come with a dysfunctional (non functioning) underpass. Says Jai Kumar - I myself used the tracks almost on a daily basis, but it's getting too dangerous even for me. And I am agile, I can run or skip over the tracks. Imagine the danger when children or old people are trying to cross. The railway crossing is over 5 km away and is usually closed or engulfed in a massive traffic jam. And the underpass is blocked. These tracks are the only way in or out of Sherpur. Noted scientist Dr. Anil Kakodkar said that the atrocious number of casualties on railway tracks is an obvious indicator that the problem of "trespassing" is a serious one and needs to be attended to urgently. Given that so many people die every year simply for the lack of a better way to go over to the other side is the direct result of the failure to provide proper facilities. Jai Kumar asks that you call the Divisional Railway Manager Mr. N.C. Goyal on (0)9779232000 and ask that he ensures the provision & continued working condition of facilities for people.   Article By: Radhika

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