The South Eastern Railway has decided to reduce the speed of all goods and special trains to 40 km per hour in its Kharagpur-Bhadkar section till Monday morning owing to the movement of migrant workers at different places along the railway tracks, an official said in Kolkata on Sunday. All staff in the section, including Railway Protection Force (RPF), gateman and trackman, have been asked to be vigilant regarding the movement of migrant workers along railway tracks, the official said.
Speed of the trains has been reduced to 40 km per hour between 8 pm of Sunday and 8 am on Monday in the Kharagpur-Bhadrak section across West Bengal and Odisha after migrant workers were spotted walking along the tracks at different places, he said.
Loco pilots have also been instructed to run trains with a strict vigil and have been asked to blow long whistles during movement, the official said.
The superintendent of police of Birbhum district also urged the Eastern Railway authorities to provide advance intimation about the movement of trains in order to prevent any incident like that of Aurangabad in Maharashtra where 16 migrant were killed after being run over.
On Saturday, the driver of a track maintenance van, which was moving at a slow speed, spotted around 20 labourers walking along the tracks near Nalhati station in Birbhum district and stopped it in time, thus preventing any untoward incident, the SP said in his letter to the divisional railway manager, Howrah, of Eastern Railways.
The SP said a special police control room is functioning at Suri to closely monitor the situation.
During the lockdown period, the movements of the regular trains have ceased, while movements of goods carriage trains have escalated for the transportation of essential commodities. Some special trains are plying, too, carrying migrant labourers or railway employees, he wrote.
"To rule out the possibility of any incident, it is requested that intimation regarding movement details of all kinds of trains passing through Birbhum district may be given well in advance to the special police control room," the SP wrote in the letter.
He said that 193.4 km long tracks of Eastern Railway pass through the Birbhum district.
The SP said that round-the-clock mobile patrolling has been intensified to prevent movement of migrant workers and other persons along the tracks.
Police personnel have also been deployed at different strategic locations along the tracks to maintain vigil, he said.