The number of mishaps on the tracks has remained almost unchanged in the last two years. Accidents on the Central line, however, have increased or remained constant, while those on the Western line have seen a considerable fall.
Most of the lives claimed in the mishaps are of people trying to cross tracks and the close second due to commuters falling off a moving train. Most of these accidents are reported near Kurla station, followed by Kalyan and Thane on the Central line, and Borivli on the Western line.
Absence of foot-over-bridge in Kurla is the primary reason for mishaps, as those who want to travel from east to west prefer to cross tracks. Kurla has only one bridge and that too is strictly for passengers.
A penalty is imposed on those using it without a valid ticket.
Overcrowding in the trains is also a nuisance and a possible cause of mishaps.
Citing the reason behind the almost constant figures of the mishaps, Dilip Chauhan, assistant commissioner of police (crime) said, “It is not only the responsibility of the Government Railway Police (GRP) or for that matter the Railway Protection Force (RPF) to bring the mishaps in control. The commuters should also feel responsible and it is only when they start intervening that the numbers are going to dip.”
Similarly, in 2009, the Central line reported 60% of the total deaths. There were 3,706 mishaps in the city, out of which 2,238 persons died on the Central line.
Last year, 4,123 people lost their lives on the tracks, out of which 58% of the mishaps occurred on the Central line.
To curb mishaps on the tracks, the Western Railway has taken multi-dimensional initiatives — announcements on the platforms, erection of iron-track dividers spread across 23-km from Churchgate to Virar, due to which people are forced to take foot over-bridge.
“To deal with the problem of overcrowding, we have converted 143 nine-car trains to 12-cars to accommodate more commuters,” said Nitin Kumar David, PRO, Western Railway.
“We have also started 12 fifteen-car trains between Churchgate and Virar. Out of the total 1,210 services on the Western line, 74% are 12-car trains, he added.
However, the number of commuters on the Central line is far more than that on the Western line, which makes managing crowd difficult.
Also, some areas on the Central are more accident-prone as there is no boundary wall. Since this line extends far beyond the city limits makes it more accident-prone.