Wednesday happened to be Day 1 of the Railway Safety Week. Ironically, it was also the day that 10 people lost their lives and 14 were injured while commuting on local trains, attempting to board them , or trying to cross tracks.
Three deaths and nine injuries were reported on the Central Railway network and seven deaths and five injuries on Western Railway.
A senior GRP official attributed the alarming spate of accidents to unscheduled mega blocks.
“The passengers are not getting trains on time. So in panic they are boarding the already packed trains, putting their lives at risk. Some of them are crossing tracks in a hurry, and getting run over,” he said.
At Kalyan railway station, two passengers died and three others were injured. Tribhuvana Gupta (24), who was standing near the door, was pushed against a pole and sustained injuries. A 50-year-old passenger was found on the tracks at the Kalyan station on the same day. He survived the incident. Two people died while crossing tracks at Shahad and Ambernath respectively.
Alarmed by the frequency of accidents, railway authorities are brainstorming in search of ways to tackle the situation.
“These figures are creating a bad image for the railways and passengers are feeling unsafe while traveling in local trains. We will be meeting a few senior officials and will be discussing methods that can be adopted to decrease accidents. Though we have made efforts to train passengers in the past, our efforts have not worked out a 100 per cent,” said an official.
Sharat Chandrayan, chief PR officer, WR, said, “We are doing our best to reduce the number of accidents on tracks. But passengers continue to cross tracks and stand near the doors.”
Prabhat Kumar, GRP commissioner, said, “The passengers are meeting with accidents on railway tracks because of infrastructural problems that the railways are facing. Policing cannot reduce accidents on railway tracks.”