From now, foot overbridges mandatory at all rly stations
A day after 23 people died in a stampede on a foot overbridge connecting the Elphinstone and Parel suburban stations in Mumbai, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has announced a slew of measures according highest priority to passenger safety.
After a high-level meeting on Saturday with railway board officials, Goyal said foot overbridges, so far considered a ‘passenger amenity’, would from now on be deemed ‘mandatory’ at railway stations.
The minister also announced the setting up of multi-disciplinary teams to inspect all 135 stations on the Mumbai suburban network. They have been asked to identify critical locations prone to similar (stampede) problems and draw up action plans to address them.
“Additional escalators will be sanctioned at crowded Mumbai suburban stations with high commuter rush with details to be finalised within 15 days and thereafter for all high-traffic stations,” he said.
In a statement, the Railways said foot overbridges, platforms and pathways on platforms would be termed ‘safety items’ and given highest priority without any budgetary restrictions.
Work on foot overbridges underway at various stations would be completed on a war-footing and additional ones planned at others where passenger traffic is high.
To enhance its monitoring, the Railways said CCTV cameras would be installed in all suburban trains in Mumbai in 15 months and then across the country.
To check delay in execution of projects, Goyal has decided to empower the general managers of railway zones for 18 months to work on measures to ensure passengers’ safety. He has also fixed a timeline to address safety issues.
The safety review was comprehensive and covered the entire Indian Railways, not just the Mumbai suburban network.