GUWAHATI, March 9 � Maligaon-headquartered Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has been able to close down or convert over 70 unmanned level-crossings so far this fiscal and the zonal railway is continuing its efforts to prevent unauthorised crossings in conjunction with the State governments in this region.
Official sources told�The Assam Tribune�that the number of unmanned level-crossings in the NFR zone has been brought down to 646 till the beginning of last month from 720 in April last year.
While over 50 of them have been converted from unmanned to manned crossings, the remaining has been closed down.
In Assam alone, the number of unmanned level crossings has been brought down from 275 to 239 during this ten-month period, sources said.
At the beginning of February, there were 1,579 level-crossings in the NFR zone, including 933 manned ones.
�We have converted a number of them into manned crossings and also closed down some others as part of the Indian Railways� policy to gradually eliminate all the unmanned level- crossings for improving safety,� said an official.
He said NFR has also taken up construction of Limited Height Subways (LHS) to eliminate level-crossing gates and this year 217 such LHS have been sanctioned. Over a dozen have already been completed.
In addition, the zonal railway is also constructing some road overbridges.�
�For better communication and coordination, 20 level-crossing gates have been provided with gate telephones up to December, taking the total number of such gates to 960,� the official said.
He added that besides the unmanned crossings, there is also the menace from unauthorised crossings.
�We are in contact with State governments to prevent unauthorised crossings,� the official said, adding that they are totally illegal, lack any identification markings and using them is an offence.