Mumbai train accidents: People do not care about their lives, says railway constable

A railway constable, who has attended to 60 train accident victims in the last four years, narrates how this has become a ‘routine’

Railway police constable Dhananjay Devkar from Dombivli railway police station has attended to over 60 train accident victims in the last four years of his job. Out of these, 40 were dead and 20 were either lucky to survive or were seriously injured.

Railway police constable Dhananjay Devkar. Pic/Ankoor Anvekar
Railway police constable Dhananjay Devkar. Pic/Ankoor Anvekar

“People do not care about their lives these days and hence you find them either hanging from the footboard, travelling in over crowded compartments, travelling on the roof or even crossing railway tracks. I have lifted all of them from the tracks after they have either been knocked off the train or have slipped from a moving train. Unfortunately, many lost their lives by the time help could reach,” said Devkar.

A resident of Ghatkopar railway police quarters, Devkar, himself travels by local train for his duty at Dombivli railway station. He used to request people not to lean out of the train and risk their lives by travelling on the roof top, but the prompt replies like “Tumhara kya jata hai?”(How does it affect you?) or “Tere ko kya karna hai?”(What do you have to do with it?) has compelled him to become a mute spectator like thousand others.

Injured seriously
On Friday, Devkar was about to leave for home a little after 8.20 am, after his night shift, when he was told about the accident between Kopar and Diva railway station.

Speaking to mid-day, Devkar said, “Along with four porters, I rushed to the spot, and found a young man lying unconscious. I could sense the damage and extent of the internal injuries he had sustained.

Multiple bones had broken in his legs and the back of his head was severely injured. I sensed the worst but I could not react and had to shift him soon to the hospital at Dombivli. Within the next few minutes he was declared dead at the hospital.”

6-km stretch
Devkar added, “Since the 6-km stretch between Kopar and Thakurli railway lines falls in the jurisdiction of Dombivli railway police station, we register over 170 railway accidents per year.” Even on Wednesday morning, a senior citizen was run over by a local train near Thakurli railway station while he was crossing the track. He died on the spot.

Devkar has observed that over a period of time, many people have shifted to city outskirts, which has increased the population but infrastructure and transportation facilities remain the same.

“I have seen people ranging from youngsters in their early 20s to senior citizens being victims of train accidents. Now this has become a routine as almost daily or once in few days we register cases of accidents,” he added.

Statistical data available with, a portal made by the state government for tracking the unidentified deceased across the state, has reported 3,016 death in the year 2015, of which 342 were female, 2,670 males, four others. The number of injured this year is 310, 60 females and 250 males.

In just last on week from November 25 to December 1, 2015, the railway police have registered 145 railway accidents including 79 cases of those injured and 66 dead. Shockingly, December 1, 2015 witnessed the maximum number of railway accidents in last one week (see box).

The day saw 30 accidents (18 injured and 12 dead). Out of the dead, five were identified and seven were unidentified. Four of the unidentified bodies were kept at Rajawadi mortuary in Ghatkopar, two at Bhagwati in Borivali and one at Rukminibai Hospital, Kalyan, said the railway police.

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