Sachin, Aamir, Jackie being roped in by Railways

New Delhi: Sachin Tendulkar and Bollywood stars like Aamir Khan and Jackie Shroff are being roped in by Railways to create awareness among road users about following safety rules at railway crossings.

The move comes amid heightened concern about frequent accidents at unmanned crossings and forceful opening of gates at manned ones, claiming several lives in recent past.

"We have decided to rope in Sachin Tendulkar, Aamir Khan and Jackie Shroff as brand ambassadors to sensitise road users about safety rules at level crossings," said Railways Minister Dinesh Trivedi, who has also written letters to state chief ministers for their support in sensitising the masses.

Addressing a press conference here on Friday, Trivedi said the script for the launching the awareness campaign is being written by filmmaker Pritish Nandy. As per figures available, there are 32,694 level crossings across the country, of which 14,853 are unmanned level crossing.

Officials said that apart from unmanned crossings, what worries them is that such "mindless" acts of forecefully opening manned level crossings poses a grave threat to rail passengers too.

Last week, an engine and two coaches of a Delhi-bound passenger train derailed when it collided with a truck at Bharmankuti railway crossing in Bhagpat when the gate of the railway crossing was forced open by some people.

On November 1, two persons travelling in a tractor trolley came under a speeding train after they forcefully broke opened the gate at a manned level crossing close to Bharatpur in Rajasthan after roughing up the gate-keeper.

The locals squatted on the tracks protesting the incident forcing railways to divert trains on the busy Delhi-Mumbai route, the official said.

While SMS campaign have been launched to create awareness among public on the issue, the latest drive, Trivedi felt, will go a step ahead to generate the required awareness across the country because of the involvement of the popular figures in the drive.

Aamir Khan also happens to be the brand ambadsador of Atithi Deva Bhaba campaign of Tourism Ministry.