Indian Railways steps up focus on safety. Soon, at unmanned railway crossings, railway employees, also being called “Gate-Mitras” with dedicated or special phone-like devices will be appointed. The devices are being tried out by East Central Railway is an interim measure to finally eliminating all unmanned crossings. According to an East Central Railway official that Financial Express Online spoke to, the zone plans to eliminate unmanned level crossings by September 2018.
The new devices allow the station master to press a button to inform the corresponding “Gate-Mitra” about an incoming train. The Gate-Mitra, in turn, has to make sure that there is no vehicular movement on the tracks till the train passes by. In case of an emergency, like a vehicle breakdown on tracks, the railway employee appointed at the unmanned crossing will press the button of the dedicated or special phone/device, the message to stop the train will be sent to the station master. On the device, numbers from one to nine will be mentioned, which will indicate the numbers of various employees deployed at the unmanned railway crossings.
Therefore, the station master will easily understand from which crossing the message has been generated. As soon as the message is received by the station master, he will contact the driver of the moving train in order to stop it. The dedicated phone sets will have voice recording facility as well as and it will also keep all the records safe.
After the recent tragic incident at Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh, the national transporter announced the elimination of all unmanned railway crossings by the end of March 2020. Last year, 1,464 unmanned railway crossings were removed by the railways. Earlier, between the years 2014 and 2016, workers were appointed in order to turn 890 unmanned crossings into manned crossings.