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Passengers are fined but no such rule applies to railway staff crossing tracks
On Tuesday, a number of railway employees were seen crossing the railway tracks at Ferozepur Cantt railway station, when Uttariya Railway Mazdoor Union (URMU) leader from Ludhiana had come to address the employees at railway platform no 1.

Crossing railway tracks is a punishable offence under the Indian Railway Act and the offenders have to pay a fine, but when it comes to the railway staff, no such rule applies to them as railway authorities claim that the point men, ticket collectors and public relation officers etc have special permission to cross the railway tracks.

One such incident was witnessed on Tuesday at the Ferozepur Cantt railway station when Uttariya Railway Mazdoor Union (URMU) leader had come to address the divisional office employees on formation of new union office and office bearers. The moment he landed on the railway station's platform no 3, a number of employees crossed the railway tracks to reach platform no 1, where the arrangements for his address to the union members had been made. However, the union leader himself, along with some employees came via over bridge.

The railway officials crossing the tracks were not on any official duty but had come only for listening to the union leader.

As per Section 147 of the Indian Railway Act, if any person enters any part of the railway property without lawful authority, can be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend up to six months or can be fined up to Rs 1,000, or both.

But, what was seen on Tuesday, indicates that rules and regulations regarding crossing railway tracks are only meant for passengers who purchase tickets and end up being fined as well, in case they cross railway tracks. But, when it comes to the railway employees, neither is any action taken nor any warning given to them.

A Railway Protection Force (RPF) sleuth said, "The passengers should cross only using Foot Over Bridges (FoB) or Subways, to avoid any untoward incident while crossing the railway tracks. It may save your time but sometimes it can take your life also."

A railway official said action against illegal crossing of tracks is part of routine checking at all the stations, but such drives are not aimed at imposing fines but to warn passengers not to get involved in the dangerous practice of crossing tracks and putting their lives at risk.

Another official said, "Every year more than 700 people are killed while crossing the railway tracks, but it is important for people to understand that they should not cross the railway tracks."

A study of railway accidents had revealed that nearly 60 per cent deaths on tracks were trespassing-related.

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