Railways needs better infrastructure
Can we secure movable items or infra in some way so that it cannot be pilfered with, or used and abused in this way?
A tragedy was averted at Bandra station earlier this week after a metal bench was found abandoned smack bang in the middle of the tracks. The Bandra GRP has registered a case against unknown person and launched a manhunt, a prominent report in this paper said.
A Railway guard spotted the bench lying on the tracks between Mahim and Bandra stations. He then alerted the Bandra GRP and the cops swung into action. A major accident was thus averted. The reports state that officials are looking for a thief who picked up the bench and was planning to cross the tracks to the other side with it, and may have abandoned it on seeing a train approach.
The truth will be known once the man is caught, but till then, it once again illustrates the importance of having top notch CCTV coverage on our stations. While CCTV surveillance everywhere now is of prime importance, the sheer numbers at our stations make this even more compelling. One hopes that the CCTV throws up clear images of the criminal who threw the bench on the tracks, whether he was wary of a local train approaching or for whatever other reason.
It should also make authorities rethink infrastructure on our stations. Should benches be made fixed on the platforms? Can we secure movable items or infra in some way so that it cannot be pilfered with, or used and abused in this way? It may be impossible to ensure that all infra can be secured but we can certainly take away something from this. Benches could be drilled and fixed on platforms.
Most importantly though, this man, when caught should be charged with endangering lives. Maybe signage on platforms about throwing things on tracks and strict punishment for the same, may act as a deterrent. Let us learn lessons from this incident rather than simply dismissing it as fortuitous that a tragedy is averted.
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