Railways to be ‘unmanned level crossing’ free by Dec: Goyal

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Piyush Goyal. (File Photo: IANS)
Piyush Goyal. (File Photo: IANS)

Railways and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday asserted that the entire rail network would be free from “unmanned level crossing” by December.

He said only three rail accidents took place due to unmanned level crossings in the last six months (April-October) as compared to 118 in 2013-14, barely three years ago.

Interacting with the audience at the 16th Hindustan Times Leadership Summit here, Goyal said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to do away with all unmanned level crossings.

From 2014-17, the railways eliminated about 1,100 unmanned level crossings every year. There were around 5,500 unmanned level crossings on the rail network across the country out of which, around 5,000 have been eliminated as of September 30. The remaining 474 would be eliminated by December.

Goyal, who took charge as Railway Minister on September 4, 2017 against the backdrop of a major rail accident, said his first meeting was on safety in which he promised to eliminate every unmanned level crossing in a year.

Initially, railway officials said it was not possible to eliminate all unmanned level crossings in a year but Goyal hailed them saying it is they who have achieved the target themselves.

He said his mantra of getting work done is to empower the team, encourage them, set very high aspirational goals, monitor their work, and hold them accountable when they are not performing.