Lives at risk on Mumbai’s lifeline | Bombay News

Considered as the lifeline of Mumbai, commuter trains also end up killing Mumbaikars. From January to September, 725 people were injured and 487 died after falling off the train, resulting in a 54% increase in commuter fatality incidents and a 64% increase in injuries. Last year, 442 commuters were injured, while 277 died during the same period. These figures include accidents on the Central and Western Railways.

On the other hand, a report prepared by the Commissioner of Police (Railways) indicates a 27% decrease in deaths caused by trespassing on railway tracks this year. From 1,114 dead and 176 injured in 2021, the figures have fallen to 848 dead and 148 injured crossing the tracks.

In 2021, most lane crossing incidents were reported in Kurla, Thane, Kalyan and Borivili. This year, however, the number of such accidents has mostly been seen near Thane and Borivili stations.

Western Railway Public Relations Manager Shivaji Sutar said: “In 2020-2021, we have constructed 2,188 meters of boundary wall along the tracks and are identifying other locations where similar walls may be needed. Measures taken to control trespassing incidents include the construction of walkways, elevators, escalators and regular awareness campaigns by the RPF.

Meanwhile, the number of commuters in CR and WR has not reached pre-pandemic levels – an average of 79 lakh passengers were transported in 2019. Despite an increase in the number of services, the number has fallen to around 60 lakhs since January 2022, and lately remained stagnant.

According to a senior Western Railway officer, “Such incidents are not necessarily due to overcrowding, but can also occur when boarding or alighting from a moving train. Therefore, we have made regular announcements at stations warning passengers of the same.

Sameer Zaveri, a railway campaigner, said: “Since the introduction of SC coaches, many people have switched from cars to trains. It also led to overcrowding on WR and CR. Some existing first class coaches can be converted to second class to accommodate more commuters.

Commuter associations attribute it to a post-pandemic effect. “Since the footsteps have increased, the number of accidents has also increased. The construction of perimeter walls has helped to stop the death toll while crossing the tracks,” said Kamlesh Shah, member of Bhartiya Rail Pravasi and Welfare Association.

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