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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

Killer platforms to stay till 2015

Prajakta Chavan Rane, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, August 21, 2013
First Published: 09:36 IST(21/8/2013) | Last Updated: 09:38 IST(21/8/2013)

Though the Western Railway (WR) last month initiated work to raise the height of selected platforms, passengers are unlikely to get immediate respite.

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Considering the current administration’s work speed, completion of the platform raising work will take at least 21 months.

This means commuters won’t get respite from perilous suburban travel before May 2015.

The Railway Design and Standards Organisation gave clearance to increase the height of a platform from 760 mm to 920 mm.

In 2012, the WR had conducted a survey in which 32 out of a total of 132 platforms were found most critical.

Currently, work is underway at Grant Road, Charni Road, Elphinstone, Lower Parel, Vile Parle and Khar, while work at five other stations will start soon.

The administration has earmarked sets of three platforms.

Each set is expected to take two months to finish, and only after work on one set is over will work on another set start.

“We are trying to expedite this work so that we can raise all critical platforms at the earliest. The sanction for 32 platforms has arrived, but we are still trying to get approval for 16 more platforms so that work on 48 suburban platforms is complete,” said Shailendra Kumar, divisional railway manager (DRM), WR.

However, activists said that this initiative has come too late.

“The high court had directed the railways to reduce the platform-train gap in 2004, but till date, the work is not complete,” said commuter activist Sameer Zaveri.

Arunkumar Dhar, 46, fell in the gap between the platform and the train while trying to board a local at Mahalaxmi station on Monday, is the latest victim.

When asked if his family would receive compensation, Sharat Chandrayan, chief public relations officer, WR, said, “No such request has been made by them. And such compensation was not paid for similar incidents in the past.”


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