From now, foot over­bridges manda­tory at all rly sta­tions

Sunday Express - - NEWS -

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.

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