2 rail­way track deaths high­light lack of bridges for com­muters

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - Pranab Jy­oti Bhuyan pranab.bhuyan@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Two men were mowed down by trains while cross­ing rail­way tracks in two sep­a­rate ac­ci­dents on Tues­day night. The in­ci­dents took place within an hour.

Nerul res­i­dent Prashant Kadam, 27, was cross­ing the tracks be­tween Juina­gar and Nerul rail­way sta­tions around 9.40pm when he was mowed down by a CST-bound train. He suf­fered se­vere in­juries and died on the spot.

The sec­ond in­ci­dent took place be­tween Turbhe and Juina­gar sta­tions when Baba As­lam Shaikh, 22, an em­ployee of a pri­vate com­pany, was re­turn­ing home from of­fice around 10.35pm. He was hit by a Thane-bound train and died within a few min­utes.

The rail­way po­lice iden­ti­fied both the vic­tims with the doc­u­ments re­cov­ered from their pock­ets and later in­formed their fam­i­lies. They have reg­is­tered two ac­ci­den­tal death cases.

Ac­cord­ing to the rail­way sources, as many as 205 peo­ple died in rail­way ac­ci­dents in the ju­ris­dic­tions of Vashi and Pan­vel Gov­ern­ment Rail­way Po­lice (GRP) in 2014 as op­posed to 235 deaths in 2013. This apart, around 260 peo­ple suf­fered in­juries while cross­ing tracks in the last two years.

“Most ac­ci­dents take place be­cause of com­muters’ care­less­ness. They want ‘shortcuts’ to reach the plat­forms and are not ready to use foot over­bridges (FOB) or sub­ways to reach the other side,” said Su­dar­shan Khu­rana, sta­tion man­ager of Vashi rail­way sta­tion.

Nitin Bobade, se­nior po­lice in­spec­tor of Vashi GRP said, “We, along with RPF (Rail­way Pro­tec­tion Force) of­fi­cials, are reg­u­larly pa­trolling along the tracks and tak­ing le­gal ac­tion against peo­ple who vi­o­late rules. We dis­trib­ute pam­phlets, hold aware­ness camps and meet­ings at schools and col­leges. We also put ban­ners and con­duct street plays at pub­lic places.”

Com­muters, how­ever, said the lack of FOBs and sub­ways at many places along the har­bour and trans-har­bour lines in Navi Mum­bai has in­creased the num­ber of ac­ci­dents.

Com­muters, es­pe­cially in Turbhe, Nerul and Pan­vel, have to travel two to three kilo­me­tres to reach the other side of the town.

Ab­sence of bar­ri­cades along the rail­way tracks is an­other ma­jor is­sue, said res­i­dents.

“In Mum­bai the rail­way depart­ment has con­structed bar­ri­cades along the tracks from Sion to CST and from Mahim to Church­gate. The num­ber of ac­ci­dents has de­creased no­tice­ably there since. How­ever, you will not see such bar­ri­cades in Navi Mum­bai,” said Ra­jesh Puri, 35, a res­i­dent of Ghan­soli.

“Even the walls near the sta­tions and un­der the bridges, al­legedly bro­ken by peo­ple to cross the tracks, are not re­paired on time,” he said.

Mo­han Ninawe, se­nior pub­lic re­la­tions of­fi­cer of Cidco said, “We are tak­ing sug­ges­tions from the rail­way, the com­muters and the res­i­dents and are con­struct­ing walls, sub­ways and FOBs at var­i­ous places.”

“It has been ob­served that even af­ter con­struct­ing sub­ways and FOBs peo­ple do not use them.”

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