Lucknow: A letter by 11-year-old Nayan Sinha from Unnao to the Prime Minister last September has put Railway officials in quite a fix, after PM Narendra Modi stepped in to address the issues raised by the school boy.
Nayan, a class VII student of Chandrashekhar Azad Intermediate College in Unnao, wrote to PM Modi last September complaining of the absence of a crossing at the railway tracks between his locality had forced over 200 students to take a longer route every morning to school.
This, Nayan told the PM, was resulting in him being punished regularly by the school for reaching late. The letter prompted the Prime Minister to take up the issue with the Railway Ministry.
According to Nayan, he and several other students from his locality, do not cross the unmanned crossing and take a route which is about two kilometres longer than the earlier route. The railway track is about 100 metres from Nayan's house.
“I never cross the railway tracks as my parents have asked me not to. But the alternate route is much longer, so I reach school late and get punished on most days. In September last year, without informing anyone, I posted the letter to the Prime Minister. I wrote about how I have to walk extra to reach school,” Nayan told a daily.
Nayan's father Ashutosh tells told The Indian Express that Nayan had to walk an extra two kilometres to reach the manned railway crossing at Rajepur, and then to school Eever since the new track came up.
According to Nayan's father, his child has to walk over two kilometres to reach the manned railway crossing at Rajepur, and then to school. Around 200 children from the colony take the same route. A manned railway crossing closer to home would help the entire locality, he said.
Despite the PM's intervention, Railway officials have cited a procedural impediment that could stall the process. According to regional Railway officials, a new railway policy stipulates that a railway crossing or an overbridge cannot be constructed till the state government specifically puts in a request with the Railway Ministry. It is only upon the receipt of such a request that the Railways sends a team to assess the site and approve the demand.
A senior Railway official said that the matter had been communicated to Nayan, and would soon write a reply to the Railways head office in Delhi, which would be forwarded to the Prime Minister.
Two days ago, Nayan's family received a letter from the divisional engineer, Northern Railways, mentioning his application sent to the Prime Minister. However, Nayan said that no Railway official had visited them or sent any clear response to his request so far.