mid day editorial: Life more precious that any shortcut

Published: 30 November, 2018 07:22 IST | mid-day online desk | Mumbai

Most end up taking a 10-minute, risky shortcut

Mumbai and Thane will soon have the country's first skywalk connecting two cities across a creek. This should benefit commuters who risk their lives every day, walking on railway tracks to cross the creek to Thane station, resulting in several casualties.

A prominent report in this paper detailed how thousands, from towns like Vitava and Kopri need to walk for 20 minutes around the creek to get to Thane station or take a deadly shortcut walking on the Thane-Kalwa railway tracks across the water body. Most end up taking a 10-minute, risky shortcut. In the past week alone, five people died.

The skywalk is a welcome move given the high number of casualties on this stretch. We hope that it is completed within the March 2019 deadline. It is also unfortunate that despite the number of accidents and lives lost, this skywalk or an alternative was not built all these years.

The skywalk should be of the best quality and very well thought out. Skywalks in Mumbai are beset with numerous problems like encroachments on the skywalk, dangerous elements on empty skywalks and no lights in certain places. This skywalk design and upkeep must be done keeping in mind lessons learnt from other skywalks built around Mumbai.

Having said that, commuters must use the 20-minute longer route to get to Thane station, rather than risk the deadly shortcut. Reaching late for an appointment is infinitely better than putting your life on the line. It is shocking that commuters think it alright to put their lives at risk, to shorten the crossing over to the station.

Even if a piece of infrastructure is missing, one must never cross the tracks, saying a 20-minute journey is too long. Skywalk or no skywalk – safety and sanctity of life is above all.

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