Death due to overcrowding: Central Railway passengers want more trains

Passenger associations have demanded more trains on the Thane-Karjat/Kasara routes; Railway Minister has asked for a committee to be formed to work on passenger safety

Perhaps, if Central Railway had more trains, the city would not have witnessed the tragic death of a 21-year-old who fell off a crowded train last week, reported first by mid-day. Local passenger associations feel that the only way to save lives is to increase train services on the Thane-Karjat/ Kasara routes.

Watch video: 21-year-old dies after falling from packed rush hour local train

Members of passenger associations at the condolence meeting for Bhavesh Nakate who fell from a moving train and lost his life recently
Members of passenger associations at the condolence meeting for Bhavesh Nakate who fell from a moving train and lost his life recently

Already 627 train services are plying on this stretch out of the total 1,610 services operated on the Mumbai suburban railway. On December 1, passenger associations held a condolence meet for the deceased Bhavesh Nakate, who died after falling from a crowded moving train, at Dombivli station.

Also Read: Man dies after falling from local train in Thane; third death in a week

“We, as an association, are asking fellow commuters not to board crowded trains,” said Jitendra Vishwe, Upnagar Rail Pravasi Sangh. mid-day was the first to highlight this issue, and the video taken by a fellow commuter travelling in the same train of the youngster who fell off between Kopar and Diva stations.

“There is a need for having more train services beyond Thane towards the north,” said rail activist Vandana Sonawane, who resides at Dombivli.

Punctuality issues
Early this year, the CR authorities added 17 new services between Thane and further north. The officials claim that most of them were added in the morning and evening peak hours. “There is a possibility of running 5-6 services more under the current condition, but it shall impact the trains’ punctuality,” said a CR official.

Sources added that chances of adding more services are restricted under the current circumstances, unless the MRVC completes work on the fifth and sixth lines between Thane and Diva. Presently, there are hundreds of shanties and slums that are blocking the way for these additional rail lines.

MRVC officials claim that it being a politically sensitive location, they are being cautious in resolving the issue. Prabhu Ranjan, chief PRO of MRVC said, “There are issues of rehabilitating people staying there apart from land acquisition needed. We are in constant touch with the state government authorities so that work on the fifth and sixth lines can be completed sooner.”

Read Story: Another commuter falls off overcrowded train and dies

However, the passenger associations claim that it is the job of railway authorities to operate trains on time. “When people are paying for the tickets then it is the railway’s job to provide services on time,” said Subhash Gupta, member, National Railway Users Consultative Committee.

Want parallel road
The people also claim that there is a strong need for better connectivity between Thane and Kalyan. “There is a need for a parallel road between Thane and Kalyan along the rail lines. This will surely help as people would take it,” said Vishwanath Datrak of the Kalyan-Kasara Passengers Association.

Focus on Rail safety
On December 1, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu met Members of Parliament in Delhi over the accidents on the suburban rail. He had already asked the officials to set up a committee to inspect and work on passenger safety, whose report would be submitted within a month.

>> Local NGOs and rail passenger associations too would be involved in the process.

>> Automatic closed doors in local trains will be introduced soon. Trials for them are going on, on the Western Railway

>> Height of all platforms will be raised to 920 mm by 2016.

>> Fencing shall be carried out between railway stations and more 15-car trains shall be operated.

The last time attention was drawn to these issues was after Monika More slipped while boarding a moving train and lost her limbs.

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