The Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) is to set up an e-gate system at nearly 400 unprotected level crossings in the railway network around the country to put an end to fatal railway accidents that kill nearly 200 people annually and maim about 400, Transport Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardana said.

The e-gate system, a concept of Minister Gunawardana – has been developed by CodeGen International on the instructions of the SLR and in association with the State Development and Construction Corporation (SD&CC). An e-gate has successfully been fixed as a pilot project near the Godagama railway station recently and is working smoothly, he said.

Fatal accidents at level crossings are a major issue since the day Ceylon Government Railways started in 1864. The SLR is incurring a heavy cost to protect railway level crossings but still we have nearly 400 unprotected level crossings where accidents involving trains and other vehicles are reported regularly. Preventing railway accidents at level crossings is a national requirement and I hope the newly introduced e-gate system is the answer,” Minister Dr. Gunawardana stressed.

General Manager, Railways (GMR) W.A.D.S. Gunasinghe said the e-gate operated manually is fully developed using the know-how of Sri Lankan engineers and the minimum cost was about Rs. 1 million.

“We are in the process of further developing the system in order to make it fully automated and remote controlled. But the cost will rise to Rs. 3.5 million. Another problem facing the developers is how the e-gate can be operated when there is a power failure. However, I am confident that we can find answers to these issues and make the entire railway network fully safe for trains, passengers and the public before long,” Gunasinghe added.

source daily mirror

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