Apart from focussing on motorists by impressing upon them the imperatives of observing safety norms, the railway authorities have taken up another safety measure on a mission mode.
The Mysuru Division has 60 unmanned level crossing (UMLC) gates while Hubballi division has 79, all potentially hazardous sites for accidents. The target is to eliminate all of them by 2020. The ‘elimination’ of UMLC gates could be by way of having a road under/over bridge, limited height subways, diversion of the roads approaching the gate or appointing staff — Gate Mitras — to regulate the vehicles.
It was only recently that the Bengaluru Division eliminated all UMLC gates in its jurisdiction. The Bengaluru division had 71 such gates that were eliminated over four years.
Meanwhile, senior railway officials said the closure of the these gates was a priority area. 72 would be eliminated by March 2019 across the South Western Railway division and the remaining 67 by September 2019, after which the State was expected to be free of UMLC gates completely. Incidentally, the Ministry of Railways has set a target of eliminating all UMLC gates across the country by 2020.
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