Mumbai An average of eight people were killed daily on railway tracks in 2016. Crossing the tracks was the leading cause of death. The number of deaths fell by 3% from 2015.
According to the statistics obtained under a Right to Information application by activist Sameer Jhaveri, 3,202 passengers died and 3,363 were injured on the suburban railway network last year. In 2015, 3,304 people were killed and 3,349 were injured.
The central line this year, whose network is more than twice as big as the size of western line, recorded the highest number of deaths. The statistics revealed that 2,114 deaths occurred on the Central Railway (CR) network and 1,088 fatalities on the Western Railway (WR) network in 2016.
The number of injured was 1,856 on the CR and 1,507 on the WR in the same year.
As many as 1,798 people, more than 50 % of the total fatalities, died while they were crossing the tracks. Other reasons were falling from trains (657), hitting the pole (8), slipping through the platform gap (13), electric shock (34), suicides (35), natural death (524) and others (133).
Among WR railways stations, Goregaon recorded the highest number of death (84) and was followed by Virar (81), Borivli (63) and Andheri (59). On the CR network, Thane station registered the most number of fatalities (129) and was followed by Kalyan (117), Kurla (81) and Diva (71). On the harbour line under the CR network, Mankhurd station witnessed 37 deaths and was followed by Wadala Road (30), Jui Nagar (29) and Rabale (27).
Last year, Sachin Tendulkar, who had launched two safety initiatives of GRP, had expressed concerns over crossing of railway tracks.
“We have been taking regular drives to desist people from crossing the railway tracks. Further, awareness campaigns — such as giving roses to commuters crossing tracks, posters at platforms, distribution of pamphlets and plays — are undertaken,” said Ritesh Aher, GRP spokesperson.
Fall from trains caused most injuries to passengers in 2016
Falling from trains led to the highest number of injuries (1,498) on the suburban railway network in 2016, revealed statistics compiled by the Government Railway Police (GRP). A total of 3,363 people were injured.
Other major reasons which contributed to the number of injuries were others (671), crossing lines (379), hitting poles (85), falling in platform gap (19) and electric shock (36) . As many as 1,856 passenger were hurt on the Central Railway network in 2016 while for the Western Railway the number stood at 1,507.
Railway stations with higher number of injuries were Andheri (159), Borivli (98), Dadar (93) and Vasai road (91) on the WR; Kalyan (147), CST local (114), Thane (71), Dombivli (70) Kurla (51) on the CR; Wadala Road (34), Vashi (27), Mankhurd (25) and Govandi (23) on the harbour line under the CR.
Officials said stringent enforcement against offenders, deployment of personnel and improving infrastructure will act as deterrent for trespassers.
Activists have demanded that railway authorities should first decongest station to bring down the number of injuries. “It is high time that the railways increased the number of coaches. New-lines are also need of the hour,” said Sameer Jhaveri, the activist who obtained the information RTI.