This is a story that's as bizarre as the statistic that is at its center. Central Railway officials say 12 deaths are recorded every month at Diva railway station due to illegal crossing of tracks by commuters.
One of the reasons why commuters are compelled to take the easy way out is because despite rising commuter rush, there aren't enough ticket counters at the station.
Commuters have to travel to the western side of station to buy a railway ticket, and most of them end up crossing the tracks in a bid to get there faster. Diva is a major junction between Mumbra and Kopar on the central railway line.
A few months ago, members of of the Diva Passenger Association and the Mumbai Pravasi Sangh went on a hunger strike demanding the construction of a Foot Over Bridge (FoB) connecting the eastern and western parts of the suburb.
Adesh Bhagat, president of Diva Passenger Association, says, "After we made our demand, railway authorities built a FoB at Diva station but commuters haven't been using it.
They prefer to use the railway crossing. The railways should consider building a Road over Bridge (RoB) so that commuters realise that the FoB is not the only option to cross over from east to west. We are in the midst of discussing the matter with locals politicians."
Anand Paranjpe, Shiv Sena MP from the area, says, "I have written a letter to Chhagan Bhubal requesting the PWD department to build an RoB as soon as as possible to check accidents."
Manohar Shelar, President of the Upnagriya Pravasi Sangh says Vikhroli station saw a similar situation but commuters are now forced to use the FoB since railway authorities have put up barricades to contain trespassing.
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