TRAIN FOOTBOARD TRAVEL CLAIMS LIFE OF 16-YR-OLD BOY

Stu­dent dies af­ter hit­ting elec­tric pole in Pazha­van­than­gal-St Thomas Mount sec­tion

The New Indian Express - - CHENNAI - B ANBUSELVAN

A 16-year-old stu­dent of an ITI col­lege who trav­elled on the footboard of an over­crowded sub­ur­ban train died af­ter hit­ting an elec­tric pole in the Pazha­van­than­gal-St Thomas Mount sec­tion. Though the ac­ci­dent took place on Fri­day, it was kept un­der wraps un­til the boy died on Satur­day evening. The de­ceased was iden­ti­fied as K Jay­achan­dran (16) from Sathya Na­gar in Kovil­am­pakkam. On Fri­day, he was on his way to col­lege in the Chen­gal­pat­tuBeach sub­ur­ban train. He boarded at Pazha­van­than­gal around 9.30 am. As the coaches were crowded, he was said to be trav­el­ling on the footboard. When the train was pass­ing the curve be­tween Pazha­van­than­gal and St Thomas Mount, Jay­achan­dran’s back­pack hit the elec­tric pole. In this im­pact, he fell on the tracks. The pas­sen­gers im­me­di­ately pulled the chain and stopped the train. The in­jured boy, who was bleed­ing pro­fusely, was rushed to the Govern­ment Roy­apet­tah Hospi­tal, where he suc­cumbed on Satur­day evening. Ed­ward, Deputy Su­per­in­ten­dent of Po­lice, Govern­ment Rail­way Po­lice, Eg­more, said the boy seemed to be hang­ing on the footboard. “His back­pack hit the pole due to which he fell. In spite of re­peated warn­ings, many pas­sen­gers in­clud­ing women choose to travel on the footboard. We have in­ten­si­fied the drive against footboard trav­ellers,” he added. Rail­way of­fi­cials could not be reached for com­ments. In July last year, seven pas­sen­gers who trav­elled on the footboard were killed af­ter hit­ting the con­crete wall at the St Thomas Mount sta­tion. Fol­low­ing this, the South­ern Rail­way has with­drawn op­er­a­tion of fast trains in the Beach-Chen­gal­pattu sec­tion. RTI data ob­tained by Ex­press re­vealed that the dis­tance be­tween cen­tre of track and con­crete wall at St Thomas Mount sta­tion was only 2.24 me­tres as against the man­dated 2.36 me­tres. The data fur­ther re­vealed that there are 21 lo­ca­tions in the Chen­nai sub­ur­ban routes where the dis­tance be­tween cen­tre of tracks and per­ma­nent struc­ture (elec­tric pole, pil­lar of bridge and walls) was less than 2.36 me­tres. The Chen­nai di­vi­sion has stated that they have iden­ti­fied in­fringe­ment at 10 places in the Beach-Tam­baram sec­tion, out of which seven are cleared.

In spite of re­peated warn­ings, many pas­sen­gers, in­clud­ing women, choose to travel on the footboard. We have in­ten­si­fied the drive against footboard trav­ellers

Ed­ward, DSP, Govt Rail­way Po­lice

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