After Elphinstone Road stampede, safety audits finally begin at Mumbai’s railway stations | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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After Elphinstone Road stampede, safety audits finally begin at Mumbai’s railway stations

According to officials, the teams will inspect every station during peak hours to understand the safety issues

mumbai Updated: Oct 03, 2017 09:52 IST
HT Correspondent
Borivli railway station
Borivli railway station(Hindustan Times)

Thirteen teams from the Central and Western Railways, civic bodies and the police will begin safety audits of more than 100 railway stations on Mumbai’s suburban network from Tuesday.

According to officials, the teams will inspect every station during peak hours to understand the safety issues.

In the marathon meetings conducted on September 29 and 30, in the aftermath of the Friday’s Elphinstone Road station stampede, which killed 23 people, railway minister Piyush Goyal had directed both the zonal railways to form multidisciplinary bodies as early as possible and conduct safety audits of the suburban railway stations within 10 days.

Acting on the directive, the Central railway has formed eight multidisciplinary teams for inspecting its 76 suburban stations on the main, harbour and trans-harbour corridors. Similarly, the Western Railway has formed five teams that will take stock of the passenger safety situation at every station between Churchgate and Dahanu Road.

Ravinder Goyal, divisional railway manager of CR’s Mumbai division, said that the audit teams comprises railway officials from various departments such as commercial, operating, electric and mechanical, along with the officials from the city police, government railway police and local municipal bodies, including the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, Thane Municipal Corporation, among others.

“The multidisciplinary teams will visit all stations during peak hours,” said Goyal. “They will check foot overbridges, hawkers, platform width, staircases and their width during their inspection and submit their report within a week.”

Mukul Jain, divisional railway manager of WR’s Mumbai division said they have formed five teams of multidisciplinary audit teams and they will submit their report within five days. Another WR official said that the teams have been instructed to study the stations during the peak-hour rush.

A senior railway official said the audit report would be submitted to the zonal railways, after which the teams could suggest solutions such as whether the entry-exit points of stations need to be widened or cleared, whether new FOBs are required or existing ones need to be widened, or more personnel from the Railway Protection  Force (RPF) or Government Railway Police (GRP) are needed.

“Now, general managers have been given powers to spend for safety whenever necessary. If the teams suggest some urgent measures at any stations in their report, the railway could immediately start work after determining the urgency of the work. As of now, there is no need to go to railway board for approval of the same,” said the official.