Indian Railway Search

Trespassing on rail tracks claims 39 lives every day

NEW DELHI: Thirty-nine people are killed everyday on rail tracks while trespassing and the casualty in in such accidents between 2009-2012 was over 50,000.
These figures, which hold relevance in the wake of the Bihar train tragedy in which 28 pilgrims were mowed down by a train, show Indian Railways in a poor light when compared with modern railways in Japan and western countries
While Japan has reported no death on rail tracks in the last 50 years, the number of fatalities due to trespassing is far less in US and Europe as compared to in India.
According to Railway Ministry data, 50,298 people were killed from January 2009 to June 2012 which means on an average there are 14,370 trespassing deaths per year and 39 deaths every day.
While 14,376 people were killed on railway tracks and level crossings in 2009 due to trespassing, the number of deaths rose to 12,894 in 2010, according to the data.
The trespassing casualty rose further to 14,611 in 2011 and was recorded at 8,412 till June 2012.
On the other hand, in the UK there were only 36 and 16 deaths due to trespassing in 2009 and 2010 respectively while 852 such deaths had taken place in entire Europe in 2009 and 750 in 2010.
A total of 695 people were killed in train accidents in the US from 2000 to March 2012, while in Japan no such deaths have been reported in the last 50 years.
Railway Minister Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, "We cannot compare ourselves with Japan. It is a much more advanced country and we cannot compare ourselves with them."
When asked whether Japanese system can be replicated here, he said, "India is a country of more than 1.2 billion population. It is next to impossible to imagine it."
Former Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi, however, differs with Chowdhury. "We are not serious about safety. One has to be serious about what to do. Our Metro system is running well without any accident. If you have a system then everything can be arranged. In Japan they have done it with the system and as a result there are no death on tracks."
Trivedi in his Rail Budget 2012-13 also mentioned that safety on Indian Railways has to be benchmarked against other modern railway systems in the world be it in Europe or Japan.
"Safety standards have been remarkable in these systems with no deaths due to rail accidents for decades together on high speed routes," he said.