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Will railway authorities please mind the gap?

Recently, this paper reported how Hansmukh Goda (66) lost his life after falling in the gap between the train and platform at Marine Lines station. Then, the same deadly space sucked in another person, Ravindra Parmar (55), a BMC employee. Parmar suffered head injuries and was rushed to the hospital. He managed to survive because he stayed between the platform and the tracks, which saved him from getting crushed under the rakes.

Statistics say that at least 91 persons have died after falling in the gap between train and platform in the last 11 years. Even in the past, this paper had done an extensive pictorial report on the yawning gap between many trains and platforms. The reporter had carried a measuring tape to show how dangerous these gaps are and how they can put life and limb at peril. This danger is compounded during the rainy season, when platforms are slick with rain and chances of slipping increase.

Despite complaints and reports, authorities have done little to address this problem. Why are the Railways not looking into these lethal gaps, which have resulted in loss of precious life?

Railway accidents are not the responsibility of authorities alone. People too have to alight and enter trains in a proper, orderly manner. There has to be concern for the plight of fellow passengers. Crossing tracks and travelling on the roof is a strict no-no. Beautifying stations, cleanliness drives and cosmetic changes, though necessary at stations, can come after such urgent and important lacunae are filled. Act now, for lives are at stake and the clock is ticking. 

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