The number of deaths on railway tracks has been on the rise in the past few years despite several measures taken by the authorities to contain such incidents.
While 14,973 deaths occurred on railway tracks in 2011, the number increased to 16,336 in 2012, according to Railway Ministry data. The number increased further to 19,997 in 2013.
According to the data prepared by safety wing of the national transporter, railway tracks have claimed 18,735 lives till October this year.
Main reasons for death of persons on railway tracks are trespassing, falling off trains, accidents and suicides, a senior Railway Ministry official involved with the safety wing said.
Railways has taken a series of steps to prevent deaths on railway tracks including regular announcement through public address system at important stations urging the passengers to use foot over-bridges and to avoid crossing of rail lines.
“We are also carrying out various passenger awareness programmes to educate and create awareness among general public about the fatalities involved in crossing rail lines,” said the official.
At present, railways has 11,563 unmanned level crossings. The official said trespassing into railway premises including the track is a punishable offence under Section 147 of the Railways Act and regular checks are being conducted against unauthorised entry into railway premises as well as lines.
Railways has decided to eliminate all unmanned level crossing in phased manner by closure, manning and also by constructing rail over-bridge and under-bridge.