Western Railway teams suggest new FOBs, better commuter facilities
Five teams of the Western Railway (WR), which conducted audit of facilities at suburban stations in and around Mumbai, have suggested construction of a number of foot over-bridges (FOBs), including one at the Elphinstone Road where a stampede claimed 23 lives two months ago.
The multidisciplinary teams, set up in the wake of the Elphinstone Road station stampede, have also suggested a slew of steps to improve rail infrastructure and provide better amenities to suburban passengers, including setting up more more CCTV cameras.
The teams were set up by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal after the tragedy to conduct an audit and review capacity of the current infrastructure and recommend measures to improve commuter amenities. They have submitted a report. "The teams, after an extensive survey, have proposed several additional FOBs at various stations as well as FOBs near the exit and entry points of stations to disperse the pool of crowd," Chief PRO of WR Ravinder Bhakar said.
Briefing reporters about the salient points of the report, he said, "The teams proposed covering over platforms (COPs) at all the stations and FOBs to make entire railway premises rain/water-proof and restricting the use of free Wi-Fi up to only concourse areas. "It also suggested relocation of certain structures
within the premises such as kiosks, suvidha Desks, unused toilets and 1,600 additional high-tech CCTV cameras."
The report has also recommended building five new FOBs at different stations, including at the Elphinstone Road, said Bhakar. I suggested taking the help of civic bodies to come up with seven additional FOBs at various places between Churchgate to Virar.
Apart from the WR officials, the teams comprised senior official of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC), the Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC), the Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation (VVMC), the Mira-Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC), the Government Railway Police (GRP) and the Mumbai Police.
The team members interacted with various stakeholders, including MPs, MLAs, representatives of Railway Users Consultative Committees, railway staff, GRP, RPF and passenger associations. He said to ensure free movement of passengers within the railway premises, "we have already cleared hawkers from several stations".