Lucknow: Unmanned crossings situated at distance of three kilometers each in Uttar Pradesh are an open invitation to a mishap. Out of the 8,200 km railway line spread all across the state, there are about 2,660 unmanned crossing. The maximum of 588 unmanned crossing are under the Izzatnagar division.

Train mishaps have become a common scenario in UP. In the wee hours of Thursday, as many as 37 people were killed in an accident when a train on its way from Mathura to Chapra in Bihar rammed into a bus. However, this is not sole example in isolation of mishap at an unmanned railway crossing in the state.

The sorry state of affairs can be gauged from the fact that UP stands tops the list of railway mishaps in the country. On November 1, 2009, 17 people died when Faizabad Passenger Train slammed into a bus near Gonda. Similarly on November 20, 2009 at Tikiriya village, near Gosainganj, Lucknow, as many as four people died when Sultanpur Passenger hit a truck. Whereas on January 10, 2010, Harihar Express collided into a car at Trivedi village in Haidergarh, killing two people.

In UP there are three divisions each of North-Eastern Railways and North Central Railways, and two divisions of East Coast Railways. Combining the Lucknow region of Central Division, Izzatnagar and Varanasi region of North Eastern division and Agra of Central North division, there are 1844 railway crossings where no Guards are deployed.

Whereas, there are 816 unmanned level crossings in 28 kilometers stretch of railway line of Mughalsarai division that includes Allahabad and Moradabad.

The figures represent an immediate urgency to appoint Guards at these crossing. The department needs ten thousand workers to be deployed at these railway stations. Railways require around 10,000 people to deploy them at unmanned crossing.

According to a report, the Railways need to shell out an additional amount of Rs 12 crore per month to deploy Guards at the unmanned crossing.