The Elphinstone stampede ironically struck on the day Union Minister Piyush Goyal was all set to flag off 60 new suburban trains in Mumbai. In a cruel twist of fate, the Union minister who was in Mumbai to introduce new services had to attend to the tragedy at Elphinstone station.
In a statement on Thursday, the Western Railway said that the Central Railway would introduce 14 additional suburban services on its harbor line and trans-harbor line each. This while the Western Railway would introduce 32 new services on its corridor, which will be effective from October 1. Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal was to flag off 60 new suburban train services on Friday.
The statement added that Goyal was scheduled to release the new suburban time-table at Friday's event. Starting October 1, the increase in additional services on the Western Railway was to be effective with 17 services in UP (towards Churchgate) direction and 15 services in Down (towards Virar) direction. The fifth line from Andheri to Virar was also to be thrown open for the suburban train on Friday by the Union Railway minister.
22 people lost their lives in a stampede at a foot over bridge in Mumbai's Elphinstone station on Friday. The freak tragedy has taken place when Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in on a three South Korea-Singapore tour forcing Mumbaikars to fend for themselves.
While Fadnavis took to Twitter to express sympathies and well as connect with the people on what his government was doing about the incident, many Mumbaikars questioned why the Chief Minister was unwilling to return from the tour to tend to the situation. Hours after the incident, Devendra Fadnavis tweeted an audio, his message to the people of Mumbai.
While the government of Maharashtra has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh, questions over what truly is the real tragedy continues. Is it the death of 22 innocent citizens or the apathy of administration that refuses to provide infrastructure to its people putting them in jeopardy.