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RPF takes steps to check tresspassing on tracks

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Guidelines highlight preemptive measures to prevent a repeat of the Amritsar tragedy
The Railway Protection Force (RPF) has come out with a set of guidelines to prevent such trespassing along train tracks. The release follows the Dusshera tragedy at Amritsar in mid-October when a train ran over a large group who were celebrating close to the railway line, killing more than 60 persons.

Mandate issued

The RPF’s Special Intelligence Branch has been mandated with the responsibility of collecting information about religious congregations near railway tracks in advance. Coordination with the State administration has been highlighted.

The guidelines were issued by the Director General, RPF, New Delhi, Arun Kumar in a recent communication to the Principal Chief Security Commissioners of the force, and all zonal railways to prevent such accidents in the future.

Field-level RPF personnel have been instructed to map areas in crowded localities through which railway tracks pass and where there were past incidents of large-scale trespassing. The communication made it clear that these areas should be brought to the notice of the Railway General Manager concerned, as well as to the State. Personnel at the zonal and divisional levels should be sensitised to the issue, the release said.

Public’s cooperation

The RPF officers have been asked to hold awareness meetings about the hazards of tresspassing with village representatives at the local level and with people living near the tracks. The assistance of the Commercial Wing of the Railways and the State could be roped in to drive home safety message, the communication said. RPF sources said intelligence officials working at the divisional level in the Southern Railway zone have been instructed to identify temples situated close to the tracks. They have also been asked to gather information such as the festival’s name and duration. The list would then be forwarded to the Southern Railway headquarters for submission to the Railway Board.

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