Rail gates for 775 unprotected level crossings
A comprehensive program is now under way to install rail gates at 775
unprotected level crossings which have become a virtual death trap for
many motorists and pedestrians, General Manager of Railways B.A.P.
Ariyaratne told the Sunday Observer.
He said the 149 level crossings fitted with bamboo gates and manned
by people have also been treated as unprotected level crossings as the
safety of those gates depends on the person handling it.
"We have to treat them also as unprotected level crossings as we have
to dismantle them one day", he said.
He said the Department has already called for tenders from the
private sector to install rail gates at the 45 unprotected level
crossings and a contractor has already begun to install them. "Work is
due to be completed this year", he said. "We are calling for tenders for
another 30 unprotected level crossings and we will award the contracts
in a month or two. Hopefully, we could also complete it within a year",
"Last year we called for tenders for 200 level crossing. However, due
to some disputes in the bidding documents, the contract could not be
awarded. It was then recalled and we will be able to award that tender
this year with Cabinet approval. We will probably start the installation
next year, he said.
"We will be able to complete about 15 level crossing this year and
another 15 next year. Likewise we could complete about 300 level
crossing and that would solve the Problem a great deal", he
said.Commenting on the low cost rail gates, Ariyaratne said that when
installing the rail gates the Department has ensured that they would not
malfunction. "If we have that guarantee we would buy them. Else the
Railway Department would have to compensate victims if the rail gates do
not operate properly", he said.