LAHORE - The Punjab government has banned construction of new roads crossing railway tracks , in an effort to minimise potential risk of accidents across the province.

“We have undertaken an action plan to ensure maximum safety in train operations, so it is essential for provincial governments to allocate specific budget for underpasses and flyovers before constructing new roads along railway lines,” said Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique after being briefed by Punjab Planning and Development Chairman Jahanzeb Khan on safe level crossings. Top officials of Pakistan Railways and P&D Punjab also attended the meeting. The P&D chairman told the railways minister that Punjab government will release 778 million by June to alter another 75 dangerous and congested level crossings. “We have already installed gates on 75 level crossings and converted them from unmanned to manned,” he added. Consensus was developed in the meeting to construct underpasses and flyovers on vulnerable level crossings on BOT (Build, Operate and Transfer) basis under Public Private Partnership. Joint monitoring mechanism would be devised on newly constructed level crossings.