After several complaints about the gap between the train and platforms at suburban stations, commuter activists are pointing to accidents at the Mumbai Central terminus, from where long-distance trains like the Rajdhani and August Kranti start.
Rajiv Singhal, a member of the Western Railway Mumbai Divisional Railway User’s Consultative Committee (DRUCC), has complained about a gap of nearly six inches — wide and high — that could make getting on and off trains unsafe for travellers carrying luggage. At some places, the platform edge is also broken, he said.
“It’s not only at suburban stations. The gap on long-distance platforms should also be reduced. There have been several instances of late, where travellers have been injured.”
Kailash Verma, another DRUCC member from the WR Mumbai division said, “The railways can increase the height of only those platforms where long-distance trains halt, such as platform number 7 and 8 at Andheri; platform 6 and 6A at Borivli and at all Mumbai Central terminus platforms.”
Commuters, too, have complained about the gap. “Many long-distance passengers miss the mid or lower level footrest while boarding or alighting the long distance trains. It would be better if the railways take note of it and do the needful,” said Rohit Shanbaug, a Borivli resident who travels regularly to Gujarat.
But Mukul Jain, the divisional railway manager (DRM), Mumbai WR said, “Platform gap is a major issue in suburban trains as there is only one foot rest. In long distance train, we have the mid-and-low-level foot rests, using which the passengers can board or alight trains safely.”
Following a series of rail accidents owing to the gap between platforms and trains, the railways started increasing the height from 840mm to 920mm, but that is only on the suburban line.
But recent accidents on long-distance trains raises the issue again.In October last year, a 45-year-old woman died of a heart attack after slipping from the train while boarding the Saurashtra Express at Borivli.