CR makes peo­ple fall in line to check stam­pedes at Parel

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES CITY - Man­thanK.Me­hta@ times­

Mum­bai: The Cen­tral Rail­way (CR) has be­gun tak­ing steps to pre­vent stam­pede-like sit­u­a­tions at Parel, one of which is to let peo­ple en­ter the plat­form only in a queue.

Twenty-three peo­ple died in a stam­pede on Septem­ber 29 at the El­phin­stone Road foot over-bridge, which has an in­ter­link fa­cil­ity with Parel on the CR.

“Mon­soon is just a fort­night away so we are car­ry­ing out drills to en­sure that no stam­pede sit­u­a­tion oc­curs,” Rail­way Pro­tec­tion Force (RPF) in­spec­tor Satish Menon from Dadar said on Thurs­day. “Since yes­ter­day, we have been ask­ing peo­ple to fol­low the queue while en­ter­ing the plat­forms.”

The Parel-El­phin­stone Road sys­tem of sta­tions has a foot­fall of 3.5 lakh per day.

“When two trains en­ter the plat­form si- mul­ta­ne­ously, it be­comes over­crowded,” Menon said. “The dis­per­sal of com­muters from FOB to sta­tion and vice versa gets blocked. The queue sys­tem will bring some or­der to com­muter move­ment.”

The army con­structed a bridge at the Dadar-end of the plat­form but it it did not at­tract a large num­ber of users. A new plat­form is un­der con­struc­tion at Parel to take the load of plat­form num­ber1-2, which is jus t8 me­tres wide.

CR also plans to in­crease the num­ber of se­cu­rity per­son­nel. “A to­tal of seven staffers work in a shift of 12 hours. We may de­ploy 10 Ma­ha­rash­tra Se­cu­rity Force (MSF) per­son­nel dur­ing the mon­soon pe­riod to reg­u­late crowd move­ment,” Menon said.

The RPF said it will also pre­vent exit to the El­phin­stone Road side FOB in case of a heavy rush.

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