Encroachers affecting rail operations—Cear

Central East African Railways (Cear) says encroachers along the Nkaya-Mchinji railway corridor are affecting movement of trains and putting lives of people at risk.

Some people have established markets right in the middle of the railway line, while others have built structures within the rail reserve.

Last week, a train delayed for about two hours at Kamwendo Railway Station in Mchinji because people needed to move their wares first to enable the train to pass.

According to Cear, it took the intervention of the police at Kamwendo to move the merchants after disagreements.

The development jolted officials from Cear last week to sensitise the residents to the dangers of encroaching onto the rail line.

In an interview after meetings at Kamuzu Primary School and Kamwendo Railway Station in Mchinji, Cear social and community relations coordinator Luther Mambala said the company will enhance communication with the public in the areas the rail line passes through to minimise accidents.

For her part, Cear social and community relations manager Towera Christina Ng’ambi said this year alone, nine accidents have been recorded along the rail line with five people being killed.

The accidents happened at Mbayani and Chirimba in Blantyre and Mchinji.

Said Ng’ambi: “We have decided to start with the sensitisation campaigns in Mchinji because encroachment is rampant here.”

Kamwendo Police Post officer in-charge Gabriel Sydney Banda said police intervene to chase traders from blocking a train.

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