Most of the deaths were reported from Northern Railway zone — 7,908. It was followed by the Southern Railway zone that reported 6,149 deaths and the Eastern Railway zone that accounted for 5,670 deaths. According to the figures released by the railways, at least 49,790 deaths happened between 2015 and 2017 because people were hit by trains on tracks. The figures were released just days after a train mowed down at least 59 people near Amritsar on October 19, as they were watching a Ravana effigy being burnt while standing on the railway tracks.
What leads to deaths on railway tracks
Trespassing, violating safety and cautionary instructions, avoiding over-bridges and using electronic gadgets while crossing railway tracks have been the causes of deaths that have occurred on railway tracks.
The numbers speak
Unauthorised trespassing on railway premises, including on tracks, is a punishable offence under Section 147 of the Railways Act, 1989. As of September 1, 2018, 20,923 people were arrested and prosecuted by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) for intruding the railway system. Under Section 147 of the Indian Railway
Act, a total fine of Rs 2.94 crore was imposed on offenders by courts during the same period, according to data provided by the Railways. Last year, 1,75,996 people were arrested and prosecuted by the RPF for trespassing the railway system and a fine of Rs 4.35 crore was imposed on them. Officials said that the railways has taken corrective measures such as regular announcements through passenger address system at stations, urging passengers to use foot-over bridges (FOBs), construction of boundary walls, putting up of warning signs and conducting awareness drives against trespassing to prevent accidental deaths on railway tracks.