Eleven persons die on the tracks every day, according to the statistics revealed by the Railways.
“In 2006, a record number of 4,029 persons died on the tracks. The causes of death include falling in gap between platform and train, trespassing, dashing against electric poles and falling from running trains,” said a senior official at the railway police commissionerate. “While 2004 witnessed 3,976 deaths, the figure came down to 3,678 in 2005. In 2006, the figure rose again.”
According to the statistics, (a copy of which is with HT) in 2006, 2,561 died while crossing the tracks, seven due to falling in gap between platform and train, 26 after dashing against electric poles near the tracks, 606 after falling from a running train and 829 due to other reasons like travelling on the roof of train.
Of the 4,029 deaths, Western Railway (WR) reported 1,701 casualties, and Central Railway (CR) reported 2,328.
Following a 2006 Bombay High Court order, fences are being built between tracks and appeals made to use foot overbridges. Crossing the tracks is also an offence, inviting penalty, but commuters still use the “short-cut”.
Divisional Railway Manager, WR (Mumbai), Satya Prakash said: “Motormen are under tremendous pressure. Moreover, trains are detained leading to loss of time and inconveniencing passengers,” he said. “We have stepped up campaigns to create public awareness about trespassing and have been making announcements and random checks. We are also installing fences between tracks to deter people from crossing the tracks.”
The Central Railway has gone a step ahead. “We have installed hooters and voice alarm systems, which warn commuters against crossing the tracks as a train nears. Fences are also being installed,” Ashok Kumar Singh, CR public Relations officer told HT.