After the deadly mishap in Amritsar that killed 60 people, Indian Railways is planning to build a 3,000 kms wall that will secure the tracks and act as a safety fence for people, according to media reports. The Railways has estimated the project to cost nearly ₹25 billion and is pursuing it on priority. The fence will be 2.7 metres high and will be made of concrete cement.
The height of the wall is aimed at keeping people away from railway lines for safety reasons and also prevent cattle straying onto the tracks. The height also won’t allow for dumping of waste on the railway lines. The Commission of Railway Safety has reportedly said that railway lines need to be walled to ensure safety for train speeds ranging to a 160 kmph.
With increasing concerns over security, vulnerable areas such as the Golden Quadrilateral and its diagonals are also being planned to be walled. Earlier, different zonal railways in India had plans to fence certain problematic areas over 2,000 kms. According to reports, the project was slated to receive ₹6.5 billion from Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh,a special safety fund over the course of five years. The latest project of 3,000 kilometres will cover all the vulnerable areas. Over 49,790 people have been accidentally mowed down by trains in the last three years, with a majority of accidents taking place in densely populated regions. Local residents have historically objected to the construction of walls. However, the recent Amritsar incident has put the authorities on alert. Over 60 people were accidentally run over by a moving train when a huge group had covered a train track in the area to catch a better view of the local Dussehra festival celebrations.