Mumbai, Dec 4: A Central Railway Committee, looking into passenger deaths on suburban trains, will hold its first meeting at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) here on Sunday, Dec 6.
The mandate of the panel, formed after directives from Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, is to suggest measures to curb incidents of people falling from overcrowded trains, resulting into injuries and loss of lives, a senior official said.
In a latest such incident on November 28, Bhavesh Nakhate (21), a Dombivli resident, died after falling off an overcrowded train in neighbouring Thane district, video of which went viral on social media.
Taking note of the incident, Prabhu ordered formation of the committee on November 30. BJP MP Poonam Mahajan, one of the members of the panel, said she would raise the issues concerning safety of train commuters.
"I am going to put forward all possible passenger- friendly issues before the committee. It is equally important that all law-makers, passengers, associations and the (Railway) ministry work hand-in-hand," she said, adding that the "best part of this exercise is that everyone is willing to find a permanent solution for the issue of passenger safety".
Welcoming the "prompt" response of Prabhu in forming the committee following death of the young commuter, Mahajan said," We all are confident that we could find an implementable solutions to this problem".
The committee comprises nine members, including four MPs - Kirit Somaiya, Rajan Vichare, Poonam Mahajan and Arvind Sawant.
Other members of the committee are S K Sood, (General Manager of Central Railway), Ketan Goradia (Commuters Association), L R Nagwani (NGO), Ajoy Mehta, (BMC Commissioner) and E Ravindran (Kalyan Dombivili Municipal Commissioner).
The panel will also hold public hearings and submit its recommendations to Railway ministry before December 31.
An RTI query filed earlier by activist, Anees Khan had revealed that as many as 25,722 passengers had fallen off local trains on Western, Central and Harbour suburban services in Mumbai Commissionerate in the last ten years, of whom 6,989 commuters died, while 18,733 survived.