No undue ACP please: Railways
S Vishnu Sharma, INN/Chennai, @Svs037
Southern Railway has now appealed the passengers to stop pulling the alarm chains in the trains unwontedly. For such things cause trains to reach their destinations late.
Southern Railway operates about 1305 express trains, 652 EMU trains daily and carry 2.41 million people daily. Incidents like unwanted chain pulling can pose a lot of problem.
What prevents trains from reaching their destinations at the destined time? Alarm Chain Pulling (ACP), surprising! but it is true. One of the major reason why many trains do not reach the stations on time is that someone mischievous in the train suddenly pulls the chain and train comes to a halt.
According to sources, during the year 2019 (upto May), 775 cases were registered for unauthorized ACP, out of them, 774 persons have been arrested and prosecuted with a fine amount of Rs.3,72,450 from them. This is perhaps proof enough that good number of trains never arrive on time because someone pulled the chain that stops the train for flimsy cause.
Unwanted pulling of alarm chain is an issue bothering railways at national level also. A senior official from Southern Railway said as trains run on the same track one after the other with a safe distance separating them, if one of them is stopped by pulling the chain, trains on the trail are affected.
If the chain is pulled unnecessarily, there are chances of incurring punishment. There are laws that make unwanted chain pulling a punishable issue, it has to be in the mind of train travelers to not pull the alarm chain for no valid reason, said a senior official from Southern Railway.
Pulling of alarm chain for an unreasonable cause, attracts legal action under Section 141 of Indian Railways Act, 1989, which awards a punishment of imprisonment which may extend to one year or fine which may extend to Rs.1000 or with both. But these provisions do not seem to deter misusers.
An analysis of alarm chain pulling incidents show that most of the time chains are pulled for trivial reasons, said a senior railway personnel. RPF escorts are provided on affected routes so that unwanted alarm chain pulling can be regulated, said railway personnel. There must be cooperation from the people too, said railway authorities and reminded that they must also desist from pulling alarm chain unwontedly.