As many as 4,000 trains have been affected so far this year due to cattle run-over incidents.
Faced with repeated cattle run-over incidents affecting train operation, Indian Railways has decided to fence off about 1,000 km track on a fast track mode in different sections in the major trunk routes.
In order to fence off both sides of the identified tracks, the railways has finalised a new design which can be installed quickly.
“A new design of boundary wall has been approved to prevent cattle run. This fence will be installed over the coming 5-6 months,” Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said.
Recently Vande Bharat Express, the premier service of the railways, was affected thrice in quick succession by cattle run-over cases.
According to the data, cattle run-overs affected 200 trains in the first nine days of October. As many as 4,000 trains have been affected so far this year.
The move would not only prevent cattle run-over but, the effective boundary would also curb human run-over on the tracks and to begin with some sections of Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah routes would be fenced off on a priority.
He also stated that conventional boundary walls will not be able to solve the problem of cattle run-over but will end up affecting villagers around the area.
“We are working seriously on the issue of building boundary walls. We are looking at two different designs. While we have approved one, which is a sturdy wall, over the next five to six months, we plan to build 1,000 km of such walls across sections to determine if the design works,” Vaishnaw said.
Incidentally, fencing off the corridor is a required necessity for running trains at 160 kmph and full potential of Vande Bharat trains cannot be achieved without the route protection.
Vaishnaw also announced career upgradation opportunities for supervisory cadres like station masters and junior engineers.
“This decision will benefit 40,000 supervisors who will get an average monthly wage increase of Rs 2,500 to Rs 4,000 per month,” he said.
Cattle Run Problem More Prevalent In Certain Railway Sections
The stretches that have been identified as vulnerable for cattle runs overs include sections in the North Central Railways and Northern Railways – in the Jhansi Division between Virangana Lakshmibai – Gwalior section, Prayagraj Division between Pt Deen Dayal Upadhyay-Prayagraj section, Moradabad Division between Alam Nagar and Shahjehanpur and in the Lucknow Division between Alam Nagar and Lucknow.
North Central Railway zone, which saw more than 6,500 of the 26,000 cases of cattle run overs in 2020-21 is one of the worst-affected Railway zones. It covers 3,000 km of tracks and hosts parts of the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah corridors.
It includes divisions like Agra, Jhansi and Prayagraj, and is the gateway for trains from the east to reach the northern parts of India.
The Northern Railway zone recorded the highest number of cattle run over cases — nearly 6,800 — across the divisions of Moradabad and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, Firozpur in Punjab, Ambala in Haryana, and Delhi, officials said.
(With additional inputs from PTI)