mid-day editorial: Mumbaikars must learn to keep off the tracks
Suburban railway authorities in Mumbai have decided to take a novel approach to curb track crossing and trespassing
Suburban railway authorities in Mumbai have decided to take a novel approach to curb track crossing and trespassing. They are considering building foot overbridges with escalators and lifts between stations where crossing tracks is rife. While building escalators at stations and termini is a usual practice, constructing bridges with escalators mid-track will be a first, following suggestions during the chief minister's war room discussions.
A report in this paper cited that under proposed funding from the World Bank and after approval of the Chief Minister's Office, the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation would be implementing the project as part of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project III. At least 17 spots across all railway lines have been identified as particularly vulnerable to track crossing. The wall or fence is breached by commuters, who then cross the tracks. While this first of its kind project is an important one in the city's suburban railway landscape, it speaks poorly of Mumbaikars who refuse to bow to warnings about not to cross tracks. The fact that this flouting of rules is so common that the railways now have to look at other methods to stop it is a sad commentary on us as commuters, as a people, as a city. In recent years, the railways have upped the ante for tackling the track crossing menace. Yet, in the end, it is shocking that people fail to stop indulging in it.
Numerous reports about statistics of deaths, of near misses, of amputations because of crossings seem to have little effect. With this absolute willful disregard for the dangers this act poses, there is little option for authorities than to plug all loopholes and explore more options to stop it. The latest initiative is another such effort. More power to them.
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