Cross Shopping

The Railway Authority says it will help set up small businesses for the men manning its bamboo gates at level crossings, to ensure their presence at their posts. The Railway Authority says it will help set up small businesses for the men manning its bamboo gates at level crossings, to ensure their presence at their posts. Of the 1175 level crossing in Sri Lanka, some 149 points are guarded by bamboo gates, operated manually by a local livelihood aid recipient.

However, railway officials say, the men, unable to run a family with the state sponsored handouts, stray away from the posts in pursuit of extra cash.

Officials say, accidents as a percentage are lower at its 575 unprotected level crossings as motorists tend to be more cautions.

Mishaps at bamboo gate level crossings meanwhile are higher, as the guards stray away and motorists are less cautions, assuming that the gate is operational.

Railway officials say installing and maintaining level crossings is an expensive business, with a bell and light warning system at each level crossing alone costing over Rs. 5 million.

An automated gate increase the total cost per level crossing cl