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Lower Parel's killer pillars claim 53 in 5 yrs

Victims accidentally crashed into one of the 12 poles, erected close to the tracks, to support bridge joining east to west
 
The next time you are travelling on the footboard of a fast train, be extra careful while passing Lower Parel. Barely 500 m from the station, there exist 12 killer iron poles that have claimed 53 lives in the last five years, after the unsuspecting commuters were accidentally hit by one of the poles. Located between fast tracks 3 and 4, these deadly poles were erected to support the bridge connecting Lower Parel from east to west.


Poles of death: Located between fast tracks 3 and 4, the 12 poles were
erected to support the bridge connecting Lower Parel from east to west.
Pic/Datta Kumbhar


'Peak hours are worst'
A GRP officer, requesting anonymity, said, "The poles are very close to tracks 3 and 4. This creates a grave problem, especially during peak hours when the trains are over-crowded, which leaves people travelling on the footboards. These unsuspecting travellers then get rammed into the poles. Since fast trains ply on these tracks, it becomes difficult to save the victim."

According to Satish Gaikwad, PI (Crime), Mumbai Central GRP, "Considering the number of commuters that have lost their lives after being hit by these iron poles while travelling in overcrowded trains, our department has sent several letters to the railways requesting it to increase the distance between the poles and the tracks. However, we haven't received a single reply from the railways."

Manmatta Hegde, father of 17-year-old Pawan who died on December 3 last year after being hit by one of these poles, said, "The railways must increase the distance between the tracks and the poles. We have already lost our son, but other commuters must be saved from such gruesome accidents. After my son's death, I had approached the rail authorities requesting them to increase the aforesaid distance, but there has been no initiative taken from their side."

When contacted Sharat Chandrayan, Chief Public Relations Officer, Western Railway, refused to comment

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