From a Correspondent
JORHAT, June 30: The 6.5 km stretch of railway track till Cinmora Railway Station, out of the 17.5 km track connecting Jorhat with Mariani, has turned out to be one of the most vulnerable routes of Assam with more than 65 identified entry points of unmanned railway crossing and more than double in between Cinmora and Mariani Junction. It is because of these unmanned railway crossings that a large number of accidents have taken place in the five years leading to the death of scores of people.
An in-depth investigation has brought to the light serious lapses on the part of the Indian Railways in failing to prevent the public from carving out an entry point over the tracks into their residences but has instead erected concrete pillars on both sides of the track and painted them red as a sign of danger. In fact this 6.5 km stretch has many government and private offices, including industrial sectors, schools and the DTO office.
It is in front of this very DTO office that the Jan Satabdi Express has till date hit many vehicles trying to hurriedly cross the track. In the year 2014, a budding young jourlist, Biman Bora died on August 12 when the Hero Honda Splendor Bike (AS 03 L 4969) he was riding was hit directly by the Satabdi Express in front of the DTO Office. And very recently a Maruti Alto was hit but luckily the driver remained unscratched, thus leading to serious differences between the Jorhat district administration and a visiting team of railway officials who insisted to close the illegally created entrance over the railway track into the DTO Office. Later it was learnt that the situation diffused only after the intervention of the Jorhat Deputy Commissioner Solanki Vishal Vasant.
Additiolly, it has been learnt from sources that the higher officials of the Indian Railways after a proper inspection had given the go-ahead sigl to completely close down these illegal entry points except for those which are connected to a road. But a powerful lobby using political pressure stopped the process since the decision would have affected their political ambitions by way of votes. Altertively, a different route was proposed to connect all those residing in the other part of the railway track opposite the main road but this too did not take shape for lack of willingness on the part of the public to sacrifice an inch of their land.
A speeding train from Mariani in Jorhat district to New Jalpaiguri of West Bengal collided with an illegally parked and fully loaded truck in front of Gattani Industries on May 29, completely damaging the truck and seriously injuring the driver later identified as Md. Mehtab Ali of Kharupetia in the Cinmora area of Jorhat. The spot where the accident took place is an unmanned and illegally carved out entry point into Gattani Industries. Again on May 10, an unidentified person was mowed down by the Jorhat Tinsukia passenger train just opposite Carmel Convent.