In the tech capital of the country, you would expect hi-tech trains zipping past with automated signals keeping things on track. But that’s not really the case. At Allalsandra rail cross, off Bellary Road, trains are stopped manually to control movement and avoid mishaps.
The gateman has to alert the loco-pilot of the approaching train to stop until the traffic congestion is eased. The Allalsandra rail gate opens to the busting satellite town of Bangalore, Yelahanka, but the single lane road is perhaps nobody’s concern.
Gateman Syed Zamiulla has lost count of the number of times trains have been stopped to allow road traffic to pass. “There have been instances when the loco-pilot can see the traffic and stops at a distance until the traffic is cleared on the road-rail intersection here. Otherwise, it’s my job to do it. This happens almost on a daily basis in the morning peak hours between 10.30am and 11.30am when there are a couple of trains which pass by at short intervals and the road traffic is also at its peak,” he said.
There have been cases when either a BMTC or lorry breaks down on this road or at the intersection and causes a heavy traffic pile-up on either side of the track. “We have to divert cars and make way for traffic to move. Sometimes, trains have been stopped until the BMTC bus is repaired or moved out or else we have push it to move it of the train’s path,” he added.
Zamiulla has a tough job on his hands. “When we start closing the gates, all the vehicles are in a hurry to cross the track and hitting the iron roads. Then we have to shut the emergency gates too,” he added.