Bhubaneswar: The East Coast Railway (ECoR) and other departments coming under its jurisdiction have devised innovative ways to counter the menace of stone pelting on trains in vulnerable areas.
The ECoR has roped in ‘Nukkad Natak’, counselling of children and parents from vulnerable areas and awarding the children from such areas to bring about a behavioural change to stop such dangerous trend. The Railway Police Force (RPF) has specially been roped in for the the special exercise.
“The RPF team has already devised a counselling plan to get onboard the young children and youth from the identified areas. Initially, we have planned extensive counselling where children would be dissuaded from engaging in such activities,” an official from the Public Relations Department of the ECoR said.
He added, “RPF is also distributing chocolates to the kids to sensitise them about the danger of stone pelting on running trains and that this could injure their own family members or relatives who could be travelling by such trains.”
The RPF and railways have found that in some cases, a few children and youth living near tracks indulge in stone pelting on the trains as a game or just for fun thereby endangering lives of many passengers. The department has identified the places in its jurisdiction from where stone pelting cases are being reported.
The department recently undertook a month-long public awareness drive by the RPF personnel, especially those residing near railway tracks through Nukkad Natak, distribution of brochures, pamphlets and others.
“RPF strives to stop stone pelting on passing trains by deploying security personnel for track patrolling with special teams in plain clothes. Apart from this, parents of the nearby areas are also being counselled regarding keeping their kids away from railway tracks,” a senior official from ECoR said.
Data suggests that 10 such incidents were reported in 2018 alone of which six cases were from the Bhubaneswar region, two from Cuttack and two from the Sambalpur division. Similarly, in 2019, a total of 18 cases have already been registered up to August. These included four cases in Jajpur-Keonjhar Road area; three each in Bhubaneswar and Visakhapatnam area; and one each at Nergundi, Motari, Rambha, Solari, Balugaon, Ichhapuram, Koraput and Angul.
As per the law and investigation, one person in 2018 and two in 2019, including one juvenile, have already been arrested in this connection. ECoR appealed to the general public to help railways by reporting such types of incidents, using toll free security helpline number 182.