Elphinstone stampede: 10-day survey to decide on 'safe' stations
Days after the Elphinstone station stampede claimed 23 lives in Mumbai efforts are being taken to make railway stations safe. About 150 officials from various departments will carry out inspections at crowded stations in Mumbai for the next 10 days to assess passenger safety and provide inputs to improve infrastructure.
As per the orders of Union Railway minister Piyush Goyal, officials from multiple government agencies will inspect select stations- especially crowded ones- in Mumbai and carry out a thorough study on passenger safety, infrastructure quality, need for improvement and funds.
Officials will divide themselves into groups of seven and inspect all railway stations on the Central and Western Railways line of Mumbai suburbs. Out of the 136 railway stations on the Mumbai Suburban system, the teams are expected to inspect those on the Churchgate-Virar section of Western Railways, and CSMT-Panvel, CSMT-Kalyan sections of Central Railway. These routes are the most crowded and attract a major load of commuters.
Inspection of foot-overbridge, entry and exit points, ticket booking counters, platforms and food stalls will be the focus of the teams. The teams consisting of officials from commercial, engineering, Railway Police Force, railway construction, Mumbai Police, Government Railway Police, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation will carry out the checks.
The teams will be equipped with cameras to videographs the shortcomings to identify the issues that ail railway stations and trouble passengers. Solutions to each problem will be proposed individually. Corporators from Vasai Virar, Mira Bhayander, Kalyan Dombivali and Navi Mumbai in case of stations beyond Mumbai limits are also expected to be part of the teams.
The teams will visit the stations at peak hours in the morning as well as evening to assess the need for improvement. In the next 10 days, the multiple agency teams are expected to prepare a report that points out problems as well as solutions to put an end to the misery of the commuters and better railway infrastructure. Maharashtra Education Minister Vinod Tawde will chair a meeting of the officials in the month of October to review the suggestions and implementation of the same.