Passengers concerned about unauthorised erections in railway reservation

Published : 9:06 am  February 8, 2018 | No comments so far |  |  (266) reads | 

Aftermath of the Angulana railway accident

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Shanty dwellers prepared to leave if  government  provides housing assistance

By Kusal Chamath and H.M. Dharmapala   

Railway passengers in the coastal line who are alarmed by the recent accident at Angulana that claimed three human lives and caused serious injuries to several others, pointed out that unauthorized erections in the railway reservation could result in the recurrence of similar accidents.   


They said shanties along the coastal line railway while creating an eyesore much to the anxiety of the public, had endangered the lives of railway passengers. They pointed out that unauthorized erections in the railway reservation with their sharp roofs standing teeth and jaw with the railway should have been demolished, but relevant authorities had turned a deaf ear to continual representations in this regard. Erecting shanties in the railway reservation had been allowed to go on unchecked for political gains.   


A resident of Angulana, Peter Sahabandu (55) said, we were shocked to find that three innocent men met with a tragic death by hitting a lorry parked in the railway reservation. He said in the past the railway reservation had been fenced to prevent anyone from encroaching.   


“Today it is open for misuse. Shanty dwellers in the railway reservation are increasing in large numbers. Hundreds of shanties have been erected with the storm water screen of the coastal line stations, as the common wall of shanties. They created a safe haven for individuals engaging in nefarious activities including drug peddling. Local government institutions and the Railways Department are responsible for allowing the misuse of railway land. It is surprising why state property has been left at the disposal of anybody in this manner,” he said.  

 

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Railway passengers requested the Railways Department to demolish the shanties or at least to allow them at a considerable distance from the railway line, or else the recurrence of accidents similar to that of Angulana two days ago, could not be prevented. They pointed out that it was the duty of the politicians not to obstruct any departmental action to prevent the misuse of the railway reservation, in the interest of the public.   


Meanwhile several shanty dwellers said they had been compelled to live in shanties for want of land and that they were prepared to leave if the government provided them land and housing aid. They said they were not willing to live in shanties exposing their children to dangers from the train and the sea.  


The public were of the opinion that the Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika should give priority to this issue that had been neglected by successive governments since independence.