Newly appointed Railway Minister Piyush Goyal today said the target of removing all unmanned level crossings could be achieved within a year, instead of the initial goal of doing it in three years. “Initially, the Railways had a target of removing all unmanned crossings in three years. But, I told them, why not do it within a year,” he said at an event at IIM-Calcutta. Goyal said around 5,000 unmanned level crossings, which account for nearly 30-35 per cent of total rail accidents, need to be removed by the railways in the next one year.
He also advocated the use of technology to reduce manual maintenance of rail tracks, as it entails huge manpower. “All you need is some infrastructure and a set of communication devices. The RailTel has already prepared the optic fibre network for improving communication,” the minister said.
Goyal had chaired a high-level meeting with top Railway Board officials on train safety in New Delhi on September 7.