Mumbai: Why Dadar station platform has become a death-trap for commuters
Contractor in charge of an upcoming escalator on the station has stacked construction material on the platform, leaving little room for commuters
Navigating Dadar station can be a nightmare during peak hours, and Central Railway (CR) authorities have only made it worse. Work is on at the station to build a two-way escalator from platforms 3 and 4 to the 12-metre foot overbridge (FOB). The problem is the contractor has stacked escalator building material right on the platform, leaving very little space for commuters to walk on.
Platforms three and four are among the most crowded platforms at Dadar station — thousands of commuters board and alight from CSMT-bound slow trains (platform three) and Kalyan-bound fast trains and express trains (platform four) on either side of the island platform. Now, more than half the concourse has been taken over by the escalator construction and boxes containing the parts.
The boxes have been stacked on the platform in two rows, shielded by barricades that take up further space. Thanks to this, there is now barely 2 metres left for walking on either side of the 10-metre island platform. In peak hours, this can prove to be highly dangerous and, worse comes to worst, could even lead to a stampede. What's more, the obstruction is right outside the compartments for disabled commuters and women.
The boxes leave barely any space on the platform for commuters
"Does no one monitor what is happening on the ground? Do the official just place a work order and forget about it? It has become such a risky affair to walk up that stretch," said Suhasini Vaidya, a commuter passing through the station.
Another passenger, Prakash Kumar, said, "It becomes even more dangerous when express trains speed past the platform. They should seriously do something about this before a major accident or stampede takes place."
No lessons learnt
Following the Elphinstone Road station stampede and mid-day's railway safety audit series, the authorities had initiated several changes to prevent overcrowding, but things seem to be going back to square one. "The railways have appointed station managers and directors for every station, but there seems to be no monitoring of any kind on the ground. They do not seem to step out of their AC cabins.
If you notice at the CR end at Dadar, only platform six is well maintained, since all the station offices are there. It is the one platform that is showcased to senior officers, as the rest of the platforms are in the pits," said Madhu Kotian, former member of the Divisional Railway Users Consultative Committee (DRUCC).
"We will ensure that the obstructions are removed immediately. At the same time, it is our humble appeal to commuters to bear the inconvenience for just a few days, while we upgrade the infrastructure for a better commute. Dadar is a crowded station, and that is why infrastructure upgrade is essential. There is genuine space constraint around to carry out such work," said Sunil Udasi, chief public relations officer for CR.
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