Fly kite near tracks, get clicked by RPF

Jan 14, 2012, 06:49 IST | Shashank Rao

With an eye on keeping Makar Sankranti incident-free, authorities to click pictures and film videos of those who fly kites close to railway tracks and will take stringent action against miscreants

Think twice before you decide to fly kites near the railway tracks over the next two days, as officials from the Railway Protection Force (RPF) will be keeping a close watch on you.

Officials say flying kites near railway tracks is hazardous to life as children often get the manja of their kites stuck in the overhead cables that can lead to electrocution

In order to prevent any mishaps, during Makar Sankranti, the annual kite-flying festival, officials are going to click photographs and record videos of those flying kites near the railway lines. The RPF will take stringent action against the miscreants.

The step comes after several children were injured during the festival, especially last year, when a seven-year-old boy was electrocuted after the string of his kite got entangled with the overhead cable. He was flying a kite on the road adjacent to the railway lines at Borivli when the incident occurred.

Hawk eye
Confirming the step of keeping a hawk's eye on miscreants, A Vohra, senior divisional security commissioner, Central Railway, said, "I have asked the constables to travel in the local trains and snap photos of all those who fly kites close to the railway tracks."

According to the plan, the constables will start recording at particular stretches including Wadala, Kurla, King's Circle and Mankhurd. When asked why these locations, an official said, "Kite fliers who sprint across the tracks are usually those who live in the slums along the tracks or in buildings nearby.
People usually fly kites from the terrace of buildings and some of these kites fall on the tracks. Kids, who run across the tracks to retrieve these kites, are in a sort of trance and have their eyes fixed on the falling kite overhead. They don't even look out for trains on the tracks. Hence, we have zeroed in on these areas."

Danger ahead
The manja used to fly the kites is coated with glass, chemicals and other metallic powders. Explaining the danger of manja getting entangled in the overhead cables, a WR official, said, "Flying kites near a railway track is risky as often the manja gets stuck in the cables, that could lead to electrocution. Sometimes, while trying to free the manja from the cables, the overhead cables are broken, halting or disrupting railway services."

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