2 railway track deaths highlight lack of bridges for commuters
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.”