New Delhi, Aug 3 Removal of unmanned level crossings, which are a major cause of rail accidents, was a priority area and a special fund is being created to carry out safety related projects, Lok Sabha was informed today.
Responding to supplementaries during the Question Hour, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said removal of unmanned crossing is a priority area as maximum accidents take place at such sites.
He said efforts are on to ensure that most of such crossings are converted into rail overbridges or underbridges following a push by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Referring to an agreement between Railways and Road Transport and Highways Ministry, he said NHAI will now construct such over-bridges and under-bridges on National Highways at their own cost on single entity basis.
Prabhu said Railways has sanctioned construction of 1592 over- and under-bridges, of which 213 have been completed and commissioned.
Work for the rest 1234 projects are at various stages of planning, estimation, invitation of tender and execution.
To meet the requirement of funds for safety related works, he said action has been initiated for creation of a graded Rashtriya Rail Sanrakshan Kosh for which the Railways is in talks with the Finance Ministry.
The plan is to use Rs 43,444 crore for safety work at level crossings.
Wherever possible, elevated tracks will be planned to avoid level crossings.