They say, there are no short cuts to success, there are no short cuts to railway tracks either. For, opting for the short cut, crossing the railway tracks to reach another platform, took 143 lives in January.
According to the government railway police (GRP), of the 260 deaths on railway tracks, 62 were because of falling off overcrowded trains, while the rest were a result of trespassing or crossing the railway tracks.
Of the 3,304 accidental deaths in 2015, 1,801 were because of trespassing. The number of casualties because of falling off trains and falling in the platform gaps stood at 846, statistics revealed.
The easy access that crossing the railway tracks provides tempts most to skip the foot overbridge, said authorities. “We keep conducting awareness campaigns and carry out drives to discourage people from trespassing. The reasons for crossing the tracks vary depending on the spot, but we keep in touch with the railways to solve the problem,” said Ritesh Aher, GRP spokesperson.
Human chains, distributing roses to offenders, constant warnings through announcements and banners are some of the measures tried by the railway police to keep commuters away from the crossing, to no avail. The numbers jump as soon as the campaigns come to an end, they claimed.
Special drives were conducted at Kurla, stretches from Thane to Kalwa, Thakurli, Karjat and Parel on the central line and Mankhurd to Wadala Raoli camp stretch on the harbour line. In case of the WR, the awareness drives were held between Marine Lines and Churchgate, Dadar to Matunga Road, Mahim to Bandra, Jogeshwari, Goregaon, Virar and Boisar stations.
While dissuading people from crossing the railway tracks, the authorities are also taking steps to ensure those who suffer injuries get medical help at the earliest. GRP commissioner Madhukar Pandey has asked the railways to rush victims to the hospital first and complete the process of issuing a memo later.