Youth comes up with so­lu­tion for crowded trains Staffer steals `17 lakh from Ra­bale com­pany

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - Arvind Walmiki arvind.walmiki@hin­dus­tan­ Pranab Jy­oti Bhuyan pranab.bhuyan@hin­dus­tan­

Nis­hant Bangera, 24, trav­els from Thane to Ghatkopar or Kalyan ev­ery day.

In the past five years, the Thane res­i­dent has seen pas­sen­gers in­crease. The crush­ing peak-hour crowd got worse day by day.

When a youth from Dom­bivli fell from a crowded train in Novem­ber last year, he knew he had to do some­thing else more peo­ple will lose their lives in a sim­i­lar way.

What he no­ticed was al­most all pas­sen­gers carry big bags which oc­cupy half the space. If the bags are kept on the rack, it will give more space to those who are stand­ing.

He has come up with a cam­paign, Bag pakad, ja­gah bana, so that it will give com­muters who are stand­ing some re­lief.

His cam­paign also en­cour­ages those who are sit­ting to take bags of those com­muters who are stand­ing and strug­gling to hold their bags and hold on to the bar.

“I have writ­ten to the pub­lic re­la­tions of­fi­cer of the Cen­tral Rail­way. I will soon meet him to dis­cuss my plan,” said Bangera, who works with a pri­vate firm in

Nis­hant Bangera, 24, shows the let­ter he gave to the Cen­tral Rail­way.

And­heri. “Com­mit­tees have been set up to dis­cuss the many deaths on tracks but the re­sults are not vis­i­ble. I am try­ing to be a part of the so­lu­tion and not wait­ing for au­thor­i­ties to take ac­tion,” he added.

Thane rail­way sta­tion sees more than 7 lakh com­muters very day. Wa­ter mel­ons and man­goes flood the APMC mar­ket in Vashi. With the tem­per­a­tures soar­ing, the de­mand for th­ese fruits, too, soars.

In 2015, Thane re­ported 357 deaths, Dom­bivli 181 and Kalyan 438 due to var­i­ous rea­sons such as cross­ing track and fall­ing from trains. In 2016 till Jan­uary, Thane recorded 29 deaths, Dom­bivli 10 and Kalyan 33.

He has al­ready started spread­ing aware­ness about his cam­paign among com­muters. Many have wel­comed the move even be­fore it is im­ple­mented.

Aish­warya Iyer, 20, a TYBMM stu­dent from Kalyan, trav­els in crowded trains ev­ery day.

“I have been trav­el­ing from Kalyan to Ghatkopar ev­ery day for the past three years. I don’t even get space to stand. The cam­paign tells peo­ple who are sit­ting to al­low those stand­ing to keep the bags on the rack above. This way more space can be cre­ated,” Iyer said.

What 23-year-old Am­ritha Mo­han, a Mu­lund res­i­dent who trav­els to Thane and Kalyan for work, has no­ticed is that those who are sit­ting place their bags on the racks, not al­low­ing those who are stand­ing to use the rack.

“It’s been two years since I have been trav­el­ling by train on this route. It is high time each com­muter un­der­stood the prob­lem and be­came open to so­lu­tion,” she said, sup­port­ing the cam­paign.

A Govern­ment Rail­way Po­lice of­fi­cer from Thane rail­way sta­tion, who did not wish to be named, said: “The ini­tia­tive by the youth is good but com­muters should fol­low it. We are also keep­ing a tab on those who form groups in train and travel. We have been re­ceiv­ing com­plaint about them as they do not al­low any­one to sit or even stand be­tween two seats,” he said.

“They also block the door and it al­ways leads to fights. They do not al­low peo­ple to get down at Dom­bivli and will block the door till Mum­bra. We have kept plain­clothes­men to keep a watch on such peo­ple,” he said.

The Ra­bale MIDC po­lice have reg­is­tered a case on Fri­day af­ter an em­ployee of a pri­vate com­pany stole Rs16.9 lakh from its locker.

Ac­cord­ing to the po­lice, the owner of the com­pany, Sashikant Is­rani, 45, knew the ac­cused very well and had hired him last year. Both of them are from same place in Kar­nataka.

The com­pany, Omkar Power Ser­vices House, mainly re­pairs elec­tric gen­er­a­tors.

“To ex­pand his busi­ness, Is­rani had a taken a loan of Rs 17 lakh last year and kept the cash in a locker in­side the premises,” said one po­lice of­fi­cer from Ra­bale MIDC po­lice sta­tion.

As the ac­cused was a trusted em­ployee of Is­rani, he was al­lowed to sleep on the premises at night.

He knew where the cash was kept. One night he cut the lower por­tion of the locker with a ma­chine and stole the cash from it.

Af­ter that he took leave be­fore Di­wali last year and left for his home­town in Kar­nataka.

“Is­rani re­al­ized the theft af­ter the ac­cused left for his home­town. He then tried to con­tact him sev­eral times, but to no avail.

He him­self too vis­ited his res­i­dence, but could not meet him. Frus­trated, he fi­nally ap­proached us and reg­is­tered a com­plaint,” the of­fi­cer said.

“A case un­der sec­tion 381 of the In­dian Pe­nal Code has been reg­is­tered against the ac­cused. We are now plan­ning to send one team to Kar­nataka search­ing for the ac­cused.

We are con­fi­dent of solv­ing the case very soon,” an­other se­nior po­lice of­fi­cer said.



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