Callous commuters pull a fast one on railways

Published: 27 December, 2013 07:37 IST | Dheeraj Bengrut |

Officials say it's getting tougher to adhere to schedules of long-distance trains, as travellers pull emergency chain for trivial reasons

The next time you arrive at Pune railway station and see a train still at a platform past its departure time, do not be surprised, because there is every possibility that a passenger aboard has pulled the emergency chain. Railway officials said number of incidents of chain pulling has increased inside trains awaiting departure. 

This year alone, the Pune railway division has registered 78 cases of chain pulling and collected Rs 33,300 in fine from culprits. Of the offences registered, over 60 per cent were committed when the locomotives were stationary at platforms.

“It has become a tendency among passengers to pull chains for trivial reasons like relatives coming to see them off, getting late while buying eatables and water, among others. Especially during festive season time, when we want to maintain punctuality of trains, it becomes difficult to adhere to the timetable if emergency chains are pulled this often. Passengers must act responsibly and pull the chain only during emergency,” railway spokesperson Y K Singh said.

He added that whenever a chain is pulled at a station, RPF staff is the first to respond. The officials have to discover the bogie in which the chain was pulled and then search for the person. “A lot of time is wasted in this procedure, which ultimately affects the scheduling of the incoming trains,” he added.

Recent case
A fortnight ago, Jhelum Express was delayed by more than 15 minutes because a couple of teenagers kept pulling chains in different bogies to delay its departure so that their friend could board it. They pulled the chain thrice. Eventually, RPF personnel detained two of the three for wasting time of other commuters.

Commenting on the issue, RPF Divisional Security Commissioner Ashok Rai said, “We have appointed two constables especially to keep a tab on chain-pulling incidences at the stations. Passengers should not pull the chain unnecessarily. Many a time, when people are caught, they give false reasons.”

Did you know?
If found guilty of pulling the chain unnecessarily a person can be fined Rs 1,000, or a one-year jail term, or both, under the Railways Act, 1989. 

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