“International Level Crossing Awareness Day” being Observed on 7th May

Every year, UIC (International Union of Railways) observes o­ne day as the International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD). This year, 7th May, 2013 is being observed as ILCAD. South Central Railway is participating in this global campaign to sensitize road users to enhance safety at level crossings. The International Level Crossing Awareness Day focuses o­n educational measures and promotion of safe behavior at and around level crossings.

The number of accidents at unmanned level crossings occurring o­n Indian Railways is a matter of concern. As o­n 1st April, 2013, there are 2122 level crossings over South Central Railway, out of which 705 are unmanned level crossings, where the accidents occur primarily due to inadequate precautions by the road users like failing to observe the mandatory signboards, and basic traffic safety rules as per the Motor Vehicles Act.

Special Safety Drive:South Central Railway launches a seven days long Special Safety Drive especially targeting safety at unmanned level crossings from 7thto 13th May, 2013 with a view to eradicate accidents at unmanned level crossings. The drive focuses o­n organizing public awareness campaigns to educate and counsel the road users and make them aware of the relevant provisions related to safe crossing of Level Crossings such as:-

Organizing safety Seminars at various places in the Divisions including Road Transport offices and Educational institutions.
Checking the whistling habits of Loco Pilots while approaching the level crossings by deputing officers and supervisors in the first coach immediately after the Locos of the trains.
Joint ambush checks involving Railway Protection Force, Government Railway Police & Civil Authorities at the level crossings to apprehend errant road users u/s of Motor Vehicle Act.
Ensuring availability of speed breakers whistle boards, road signs and stop boards etc. at LCs
South Central Railway has formulated a Safety Action Plan to eliminate all the unmanned Level Crossings by FY 2016 through various measures such as replacement of Unmanned Level Crossings with Limited Height Subways, suitable road diversions and manning of Unmanned Level Crossing etc. During the last years, 168 Unmanned Level Crossings have been eliminated in SCR. Apart from elimination of Unmanned Level Crossings, a large number of campaigns / programs are also being organized.

Cooperation from all Road Vehicle users is solicited in following the safety procedures while crossing unmanned level crossings. The simple act of stopping and looking out for any approaching train in both directions and then crossing the track in a safe manner at unmanned level crossings will avoid any scope for accident. Alertness and caution o­n the part of road users is of prime importance to achieve zero accidents at level crossings.


Info on International Union of Railways Conference (UIC)

A two day UIC (International Union of Railways) Conference on Security Challenges and High Speed Development was inaugurated on Wednesday, 20/10/2010 by Shri Vivek Sahai, Chairman, Railway Board, Ministry of Railways in Mumbai. About 150 delegates from all over the world including countries like Japan, France, Germany, Spain, United States and China, etc., are participating in this conference.

In his keynote address, Shri Vivek Sahai said that the High Speed should be tailor made for India. He emphasized that High Speed trains should cater to the needs of the Indian cities. He said that it can be very useful for our country if it is customized to Indian environment. Mr. Sahai further suggested out that the metro transport can be classified into three groups, i.e. upto 500kms, 500-1500kms and above 1500kms. Emphasizing on the large volume of passengers served by the Indian Railways, Mr. Sahai urged the experts and representatives that High Speed developments should take care of lower Income group passengers. Envisaging the future growth, Shri Sahai said that urbanization of India will be over 40% by 2020 resulting in expansion of large number of cities. Therefore, there will be greater need of High Speed Metro transport. He said that such projects should be funded jointly by the private partners, State and Central Governments.

Talking about security challenges, Shri Sahai said that security arrangements should be non-intrusive, especially at stations where the volume of passengers is very large. He also mentioned the Raman effect, invented by famous Indian Noble Laureate, Dr. C. V. Raman for using molecular signature for explosives/ contraband.

Earlier, welcoming the guests, Shri R. N. Verma, General Manager, Western Railway emphasized the need of connecting satellite cities so that the land rent and population pressure in Metros like Mumbai can be distributed evenly. He also emphasized the need to have High Speed and secure travel for the historic and vibrant city of Mumbai. He said that High Speed trains will be preferable/ viable compared to the other modes of transport like Highways or air travel if we incorporate social, economic and environmental benefits. He stated that High Speed Models should be economical for the benefit of all categories of passengers. Shri Verma emphasized on having fullproof and guaranteed security solutions as Metros like Mumbai are vulnerable to terror attacks.

Mr. Jean Pierre Loubinox, Director General of UIC also addressed the inaugural session while Mr. Jacques Colliard, Head of Security Division of UIC and Mr. Inaki Barron, Director of Passengers and High Speed Departments of UIC brought out the seminar outline.

The opening Session was followed by four sessions in which eminent experts from USA, India, China, France, Spain, Korea, etc., made presentations. Among them Shri S. K. Jain, Chief Administration Officer (Construction), Western Railway made presentation on Upgradation of Speeds in Indian Railways. Shri K. K. Atal, Chief Mechanical Engineer, Western Railway made presentation on Rolling stock issues for High Speed Railways. Shri Anoop Shrivastava, Inspector General, Railway Police Force and Shri B. Mohan, Chief Security Commissioner, Indian Railways also made presentation on Security Principles and various related issues.