HC raps railways on passenger safety issue in Mumbai's local trains

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday rapped the railways for its lackadaisical approach towards safety of passengers and failure to provide better services in suburban local trains.

A division bench of Justices N H Patil and S B Shukre, which is hearing a batch of public interest litigation on the safety aspect, was on Wednesday informed about the death of a 21-year-old man.

Bhavesh Nakhate, a resident of Dombivili, had died after falling from a crowded train on November 27 in Thane district neighbouring Mumbai.

"These deaths will continue unless you (railways) do something immediately. Nobody is taking this seriously. For railways it is just another death. This is a sorry state of affairs and the railways seems to be completely helpless," Justice Patil said.

The high court sought to know from the railways as to what steps it has taken in the past few decades towards addressing the issue of over-crowding and increasing number of deaths of passengers.

"What have you done in the last five years? Population will continue to increase but is the railways prepared to handle the situation? Railway authorities should take every measure to ensure that people are not forced to over-crowd, make such arrangements that passengers do not mind skipping one train. There is complete lack of vision and planning," the court said.

The HC said in future the coming generations should not face the same trouble the present one is facing and steps should be taken at the earliest.

Advocate Suresh Kumar, appearing for the railways, informed the high court that a meeting has been scheduled by the Advocate General with the authorities concerned tomorrow and the court's suggestions will be discussed.

The HC has now posted the matter for hearing on December 16 and sought a report from the railways.

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