By Alfie D'Souza, Pics by J P, Team Mangalorean
Mangalore: About 15,000 people are killed each year while crossing railway tracks on India's mammoth railway network according to a government safety panel. Most deaths occur at unmanned railroad crossings. To bring awareness about this issue a Street Play was staged by Southern State Railways Bharath Scouts and Guides, Palghat in the premises of Mangalore Central Railway Station, here on July 5.
The street play was well enacted by the artists, with thought-provoking lyrics in Tamil language. All the performers were clad in blue jeans pants and white kurta, with a red robe wrapped around their waste. Their well narrated performance was applauded by the crowd. Earlier to the play, Afsar Ahmad, District Organising Commissioner of Railways welcomed the gathering, while C C George, District Chief commissioner/ Senior Mechanical Engineer gave a brief history of railroad crossing accidents. C C George also proposed the vote of thanks at the end.
The Chief Guest of the evening, Piyush Agarwal, District Regional Manager in his speech stressed that, people should be sensitive and alert while crossing railroad tracks. Life is precious, therefore following safety regulations will prevent accidents and deaths, he said. Commuters should not break the safety rules, which may sometime result in heavy fines and jail time. He urged the crowd to co-operate with the railway department personal.
One of the railway department employee, who didn't wanted to reveal his name, blamed railway authorities for the 'grim picture' , saying there were lacks in safety standards and poor management . He said local managers are not given adequate power to make crucial decisions and safety regulations were also breached because of severe manpower shortages.