Eliminating Manned Level Crossings
The government has drawn up an ambitious plan to get rid of all manned level crossings preferably as a National Project.
What is Level Crossing?
A level crossing is an intersection of a railway line with a road or path, at the same level. In an unmanned level crossing, there would be no flagman or other safety feature to prevent crossing the path of an oncoming train whereas at the manned level crossing there would be one or more gatemen are posted at manned level crossings to regulate the traffic.
Eliminating Manned Level Crossing
After eliminating all unmanned level crossings in record time, the government has now drawn up an ambitious plan to get rid of all manned level crossings in a time-bound manner.
The project would be exclusively centrally funded. Railways have proposed to fund Rs 50,000 crore on the project over four years. Further, as part of the 100 days agenda of the new government, Railways first plan to first get rid of all the 2,568 level crossings in the busiest corridors of Golden Quadrilateral and its diagonals by constructing Road Over bridges and Road Under bridges with faster approval of designs at the central level.
The project marks a departure from the current setup wherein the state governments are required to share 50 per cent of the cost of such structures to eliminate level crossings. The new proposed projects provide for 100 per cent central funding.
Other Plans as Part of the 100 Day Agenda
- A scheme similar to Ujjwala scheme under which people will be urged to give up the subsidy component of train fares.
- Trying out passenger train operations by private players. On a pilot basis, IRCTC which will be asked to rope in private players to run the trains at tariffs and amenities decided by the private operator by providing Railways with the haulage charges.
- To corporatise the seven production units starting with Modern Coach Factory, Rae Bareli.
Manned level crossings
There are about 19,000 manned level crossings. Those on the Golden Quadrilateral and its diagonals witness heavy traffic flow. Manned Level Crossings pose a hurdle to smooth train operations since they involve human intervention in ensuring the right of way for trains without obstruction from road users.