Western Railway plan to make Jogeshwari station commuter-friendly: We are trying to save lives
Western Railway draws up plan to make station more commuter-friendly; commuters critique delay in improving infrastructure
In what it termed a 'surgical closure' on trespassing and track crossing, Western Railway authorities on Thursday morning permanently shut the age-old Jogeshwari railway track crossing, inviting both bouquets and brickbats. With an average of 35 to 38 deaths from crossing tracks here every year, the station authorities were forced to make this move. The railways also posted teams of policemen between the tracks and the fencing on Thursday to avoid any chaos. The first day of this closure saw many angry locals along with commuters who welcomed the move.
"This is julum. How will we cross now? The government should not do this. They should have built escalators for people like us and then shut down the crossing," Mohammad Ansar, a senior citizen arguing with an RPF constable said. "Yeh accha kiya [good job]," was another reaction. "They should have done this earlier. But it is better late than never. The public here used to jump the tracks very often," another commuter Ramesh Narayan said.
Abundance of FOBs
On visiting the station, mid-day found that there are three big foot-over bridges here, one at the Churchgate end connecting east to west, the other one is in the middle connecting the station to the west side and the third one is at the Virar-end, again connecting east to west and the Harbour line station through a walkway. However, the only one at the Churchgate end sees heavy traffic during rush hours. The bridge is connected to a wide elevated deck. The only problem is with the narrow staircase landing on platforms one and two. The WR intends to widen platforms and extend them towards Churchgate for 15-car trains.
"We are saving lives. Closing the open holes in the walls was a priority to stop people from crossing tracks. The bridge access is being improved but things do not happen overnight. There is a short-term and a long-term plan in place which the Western Railway is working on," Western Railway Mumbai Divisional Railway Manager Sunil Kumar told mid-day.
"The Western Railway has elaborate plans to widen the existing platform one and two soon," Western Railway's chief public relations officer Ravinder Bhakar said. Bhakar said that the widening (by two metres) of platform one and two is planned by reducing the width of platform three and four. This will be done under platform extension work in connection with the 15-coach work. A total of four escalators, one in the first phase and three in the second phase are planned too.
"At present the width of the platform is only 7.5 metres, which will be increased to 9.5 metres by realigning tracks. The staircases will be widened to six metres and the station manager's room will be shifted to the elevated deck. There is also a plan to build one foot-over bridge to connect the Harbour line platform with the east side of the station," he added. The WR also plans to have a long-distance train terminal at Jogeshwari towards the Borivali end of the station later.
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