Trains stopped 489 times by chain pulling in 2 years
Kannur: In the last two years, a total of 489 incidents of pulling the alarm chain (emergency brake chain) in trains were reported in Palakkad Railway Division alone. Trains were held for a total of 171 hours due to chain pulling. Among them, 224 cases were unauthorised chain pulling and fine was levied.
In Thiruvananthapuram Railway Division, 239 incidents of chain pulling were reported this year alone. Rs 1.13 lakh was collected as fine. When the train is stopped by pulling the chain, it takes upto 10-15 minutes to reset the pressure valves. It takes more time if the train is stopped at bridges or some other locations.
In 2018, 147 cases were registered out of the 252 incidents of chain-pulling under Palakkad Division. Out of the 137 chain-pulling reported so far in 2019, 77 were unnecessary. Trains delayed for 66 hours in 2017-18 and for 77 hours in 2018-19. In April and May this year, trains were delayed for 28 hours.
Different types of cases
Some passengers accidentally pull chain while getting down from the upper berth. Some others pulled chain when luggage were left behind in platform or co-passenger could not board the train.
The lapses from the part of the railway also resulted in chain-pulling. Some passengers had to pull chain when they did not get tickets even after the train arrived at the platform.
The Railway directs that the chain should be pulled only when fire breaks out or life threatening incident occurs or in case of serious health issues. One year of imprisonment or a penalty of Rs 1000 is awarded in case of unauthorised alarm chain pulling.
Even MLA gets fine
Those who were fined for unauthorised alarm chain pulling includes even Kasaragod MLA N. A. Nellikkunnu. He boarded Antyodaya Express as part of a protest demanding a stop on June 22, 2018. MLA and his party workers boarded the train from Kannur. As the train has no stop at Kasaragod, the MLA pulled the chain to alight.