Track cross­ing main rea­son for 146 train deaths in six months

SPREAD­ING AWARE­NESS Rail­ways says in­fra­struc­ture not used by com­muters at sev­eral places

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

A high-level Shiv Sena del­e­ga­tion led by its deputy leader Vi­jay Na­hata and op­po­si­tion leader Vi­jay Chougule and in­clud­ing sev­eral cor­po­ra­tors and party lead­ers met mu­nic­i­pal com­mis­sioner Tukaram Mundhe on Wed­nes­day to dis­cuss var­i­ous is­sues.

The lead­ers said the com­mis­sioner had as­sured that no ac­tion will be taken against ex­ist­ing struc­tures in gaothan ar­eas and that an in­quiry is be­ing con­ducted into the huge es­ca­la­tion of cost of a civic school in Bonkode. The del­e­ga­tion also dis­cussed the is­sue of ward com­mit­tee for­ma­tion which has been granted a stay by the chief min­is­ter.

Speak­ing at a press con­fer­ence af­ter the meet­ing, Na­hata said, “There is a fear amongst the vil­lagers that their ex­ist­ing struc­tures will be tar­geted by NMMC fol­low­ing the com­mis­sioner’s or­ders to act against il­le­gal struc­tures. Cidco has al­ready rec­om­mended reg­u­lar­iza­tion of the struc­tures to the gov­ern­ment which is pos­i­tive on the is­sue.”

Na­hata said, “Mundhe as­sured us that he will not act against the ex­ist­ing struc­tures. All ac­tion is be­ing planned only against the un­der con­struc­tion build­ings which do not have the req­ui­site build­ing per­mis­sions. “

On the ward com­mit­tee is­sue, Chougule said, “The com­mis­sioner told us that he has sent a re­quest to the gov­ern­ment to re­ject the ward com­mit­tee for­ma­tion res­o­lu­tion ap­proved and sent ear­lier by the gen­eral body which the chief min­is­ter had stayed af­ter our ob­jec­tion.”

He said, “It was a ploy by the rul­ing party to have their chair­per­sons by wrong­fully in­clud­ing var­i­ous wards in the com­mit­tee. In fact, the gov­ern­ment has asked them to sub­mit their say in a month af­ter the stay, which they did not.”

He added, “The com­mis­sioner is now free to form the ward com­mit­tees based on the con­ti­nu­ity of the ward lo­ca­tions and in an un­bi­ased man­ner. It should be done in a cou­ple of months.”

As many as 146 peo­ple died either fall­ing from trains or while cross­ing the rail­way tracks in Navi Mum­bai in the first six months of this year. A to­tal of 132 suf­fered in­juries while trav­el­ing in trains in the same pe­riod.

Ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cials from the Cen­tral Rail­way (CR), be­tween Jan­uary and June this year 108 deaths were re­ported in the area of Vashi GRP alone. Ninety-five were in­jured while trav­el­ling in trains.

As far as the ju­ris­dic­tion of Pan­vel GRP is con­cerned, 38 peo­ple died and 37 oth­ers were in­jured dur­ing this time.

In 2015, the city wit­nessed as many as 252 train deaths as op­posed to 205 deaths reg­is­tered in 2014.

“A ma­jor­ity of the ac­ci­dents in our area took place be­cause of track cross­ing. First, there are no walls along the rail­way tracks to pre­vent peo­ple from il­le­gal cross­ings. Sec­ond, the residents (mostly slum dwellers) break the walls and cross­ing the tracks to reach the other side,” said Pramod Dhawade, se­nior po­lice in­spec­tor of Vashi GRP.

“Many peo­ple have the habit of trav­el­ling stand­ing on the foot­boards. Sev­eral young­sters are into the habit of sit­ting on the roofs and in the space be­tween two coaches. When the trains pass through the sharp turns, such peo­ple lose their grips and fall down,” he added.

Ac­cord­ing to Dhawade, per­form­ing stunts in mov­ing trains is one of the main rea­sons be­hind fre­quent ac­ci­dents. “At 180 139 181 108 54 66 38 ev­ery sta­tion in the city you will find youth per­form­ing stunts while board­ing or alight­ing from the trains. Many of them lose con­trol and fall.”

Lack of in­fra­struc­ture is an­other rea­son. “We blame the peo­ple for cross­ing tracks. We don’t re­alise there is no sub­way or foot over bridge to reach the 71 other side at sev­eral places,” said an of­fi­cial from Pan­vel GRP.

“Khanda Colony, Be­la­pur and Turbhe are some of the ar­eas that need at­ten­tion in this re­gard. The lo­cal ad­min­is­tra­tions and the rail­way de­part­ment should take some mea­sures in this di­rec­tion,” he added.

De­spite hav­ing the in­fra­struc­ture peo­ple do not use them and cross the tracks risk­ing their lives. “We have two swanky sub­ways to en­ter and to get out of the sta­tion premises. In spite of that, peo­ple cross the tracks to reach the near­est bus de­pot or the auto stand,” said Su­dar­shan Khu­rana, sta­tion man­ager of Vashi rail­way sta­tion.

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