Human and cattle interference on railway tracks is a problem the Indian Railways has to contend with regularly. Whether it is people deliberately crossing over them or cattle aimlessly wandering around them, the railway tracks are constantly trespassed. One can also blame popular culture, where singing and dancing around railway tracks is oddly popular.
Fed up with human and cattle interference that often leads to reduced speeds of travel, the Indian Railways has decided to build a 500 km boundary wall along the railway track between Delhi and Mumbai.
This corridor will be a high-speed zone, and track changes allowing trains to reach 140 kmph will be possible once the wall comes up, as told by senior Railways officials to The Hindustan Times.
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There are major stations along the Delhi-Mumbai corridor that will be impacted, namely Mathura, Kota, Ratlam, Vadodara and Surat. There are other areas in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, where interference occurs. The wall will be able to help cut down disturbances and improve efficiency for the Railways.
Officials are still brainstorming over the exact dimensions, but estimate the solid concrete wall to be around 8-10 feet high.
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Experts sounded optimistic and said this is a much-needed move. They also pointed out that such practices were common abroad. A former Chairman of the Railway Board, RK Singh, said that safety would improve. However, he also rightly pointed out that state governments will need to ensure that there is no damage to the wall and treat track encroachment as a criminal offence.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)