Days after 16-year-old Monika More fell into the gap and lost both her hands, officials commence work to level the pit
Five days after Monika More lost both her hands after falling into a pit on a railway platform, the authorities yesterday commenced work to fill up the gap on platform number 2. Central Railway (CR) officials began digging up a new pit to transfer the signal pole from platform two, and started levelling the gap permanently.
For 15 long years, no action was taken to cover the gaping divide on platform 2 at Ghatkopar railway station. However, the 16-year-old’s accident and the subsequent political pressure stirred the CR authorities into making the necessary changes. The first phase of filling up the pit began and is likely to be completed by end of this week.
The gap has been in existence since 1999, after work on extending the platform was undertaken. The platform was extended to accommodate 12-coach trains. Initially 40 metres of the platform was extended as part of this work. “Once this was completed, the pit without a slope was created as an indication for commuters that the platform ends here,” said a senior Central Railway (CR) official.
A signal pole was also fitted there for the convenience of motormen. In the next few years, the platform was further extended by 35 metres to accommodate longer trains. However the pit remained, as there are no trains longer than 12 coaches operating from this platform.
But with the shifting of this signal pole and signal box, which consists of cables and wires, CR officials fear that the rat menace at the station will pose a threat rats and bandicoots are a common sight at the station. “Once we shift the signal pole and other paraphernalia along with it, it will be a tough task maintaining it. We fear the worst from the rats, as they might chew into the wires and cables, which could make it a tough task for us to identify and rectify the broken wires,” said another senior CR official, on condition of anonymity.
As per the foreseeable plans, the signal pole and box would be removed from the present location. It will be shifted on the eastern side of the platform (between platforms 2 and 3). Later, a small tunnel would be dug for the wires to pass and connect with the signal. The signal box would be placed near the tracks, while the wires for this would connect the signal via the tunnel. Presently, the process of maintaining and repairing does not take time, as the wires and cables are easily accessible when needed.