Com­muters risk their lives ev­ery day

AUTHOR­I­TIES’ AP­A­THY No level-cross­ing gate, foot over­bridge near Juina­gar rail­way sta­tion force res­i­dents to cross track

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

Due to lack of lev­el­cross­ing gate or foot over­bridge near Juina­gar rail­way sta­tion, the lo­cal res­i­dents of the area have to cross the rail­way tracks ev­ery day putting their lives at risk.

A num­ber of trains from Nerul and Juina­gar rail­way sta­tions go to car shed through these tracks ev­ery day. How­ever, the author­i­ties have not done any­thing to pre­vent the ve­hi­cles and pedes­tri­ans from cross­ing the tracks min­utes be­fore the trains passes that stretch.

The ar­te­rial road that con­nects Nerul (West) with San­pada, is also used by sev­eral stu­dents go­ing to nearby schools and col­leges. Even as no ma­jor ac­ci­dent has taken place in the re­cent past, the pos­si­bil­ity of the same can­not be rule out, the lo­cal res­i­dents said.

The rail­way depart­ment had built a booth to mon­i­tor the ve­hi­cles and alert passers-by sev­eral years ago. But no of­fi­cials has been spot­ted in the booth till date. The booth is ly­ing de­serted cov­ered with grass and wild plants and have be­come home to in­sects and snakes.

“Around three years ago, a train hit a car when it was reversing near the cross­ing. Luck­ily, the car driver es­caped un­hurt. But, the rear part of the car was to­tally dam­aged in the ac­ci­dent,” said Sri­vard­han Mane, 36, a res­i­dent of Juina­gar.

The stretch has be­come prone to ac­ci­dents.

“Two months ago, a dumper mov­ing on a ser­vice road, two me­tres be­low the tracks, rammed into a lo­cal train be­tween Mansarovar and Khan­desh­war sta­tion. How can some­one claim that there is no pos­si­bil­ity of any ma­jor ac­ci­dent on this road where the tracks are crossed by hun­dreds of ve­hi­cles ev­ery day?” said Mane.

Al­though the stretch is not a busy one, res­i­dents take a risk and cross the level-cross­ing.

Most trains on the stretch go to the car shed and a hand­ful of around six pass through the cross­ing.

Nir­mala Pandey, 46, an­other res­i­dent, said, “The rail­way author­i­ties have put one sign boards a few me­tres away from the cross­ing ask­ing peo­ple to be care­ful while cross­ing the tracks. But, peo­ple can hardly see it.”

He said that it was not pos­si­ble for all to no­tice the sign­board while, es­pe­cially while trav­el­ling in a car.

“If the author­i­ties be­lieve that they have done enough just by putting up the sign­board, they are just fool­ing them­selves and This is the ev­ery­day sight as peo­ple cross over from San­pada to Juina­gar. (Right) The aban­doned booth.

are ig­nor­ing the safety of the lo­cal res­i­dents,” said Pandey.

A se­nior of­fi­cial from Cen­tral Rail­way (CR) said, “When a train reaches that spot, the mo­tor­man calls a staffer from Juina­gar sta­tion. The staffer alerts all the ve­hi­cles and stops them on ei­ther side of the tracks. Only af­ter that the mo­tor­man crosses that stretch.”

“It is true that there is no of­fi­cial on that booth, as only three to four trains passes the cross­ing dur­ing the day­time. We don’t have any im­me­di­ate plan to con­struct a level cross­ing gate or foot over­bridge there,” he added.

De­spite re­peated at­tempts, AK Singh, chief pub­lic re­la­tions of­fi­cer of CR, was un­avail­able for com­ments.

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