Shiv Sena is scrambling to take credit for pushing Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis take note of a pressing demand for bettering facilities on city's suburban train network, by repeatedly putting the blame of the Elphinstone tragedy on the government.
Sena ministers met Fadnavis before Tuesday's Cabinet meeting and apprised him of the problems the city faced with respect to lack of basic infrastructure. The ministers claimed that the CM promised quick results and also decided to form a Cabinet sub-committee to ensure solutions for all issues.
"We demanded that all bridges be repaired and hawkers removed from stations. The CM assured us that hawkers would be forced to leave," said Sena minister Ramdas Kadam.
Later in the day, the CMO informed the media that the Cabinet has decided to appoint a sub-committee of ministers for recommending measures in a bid to prevent future accidents.
"The Cabinet condoled the death of commuters and expressed concern over the tragic incident. It was also decided to review safety measures needed," said a statement, adding that further details on the committee would be shared very soon.
Education Minister Vinod Tawde has already been appointed to look after coordination between all agencies involved. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had drafted Tawde a day after the tragedy. He also passed on all the required instructions to the railway board and empowered the general managers of Central and Western railways to take decisions without approval from the headquarters in New Delhi.
City BJP has put in place its own team to coordinate with the government. One of its MPs, Kirit Somaiya, accused of being insensitive to the dead, has been excluded from it despite his consistency in dealing with matters related to city suburban railways.
Opposition leader in the Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil petitioned WR top bosses, asking them to give jobs to the kin of the deceased. "Mere compensation is not sufficient. The affected families will suffer for a lifetime. You must ensure they don't," he told the officials. Patil has also written a letter to Goyal in this regard.
In a protest yesterday, NCP workers too tried to stop trains at various stations and staged a demonstration at railway offices. On October 5, MNS chief Raj Thackeray will lead a protest march to WR headquarters in Churchgate.
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