If the statistics provided by the Government Railway Police (GRP) are anything to go by, the number of deaths occurred due to falling off trains or trespassing on the railway tracks from January-June 2011 have reduced in comparison to last four years.
In 2010, the total number of deaths was 3,710 – with 2,321 on the Central Railway (CR) and 1,389 on the Western Railway (WR). As per this year’s records, the number of deaths is 1,654 – with 980 on the CR and 674 on the WR. Simply put, on an average, 309 people were killed every month in 2010, while 275 people have died every month this year. On an average, the number of deaths, collectively on the CR and WR, has decreased by 34.
This year, most deaths occurred due to trespassing. Of the 980 cases of deaths on CR, 569 occurred due to trespassing. In case of WR too, of the 674 deaths, 437 were caused due to trespassing.
The railway authorities believe that the efforts taken by them have resulted in the decline. “We took up a number of initiatives to spread awareness against trespassing and roof-top travelling using different mediums. The Vikhroli level crossing that witnessed high number of accidents was shut recently. All these efforts may have collectively affected the figures,” said VA Malegaonkar, chief public relations officer (PRO), CR.
Sharat Chandrayan, chief PRO, WR, said: “We are working on the infrastructure. We plan to build a boundary wall along the 100-km railway line, install track dividers at vulnerable locations and construct foot overbridges. We have shut the level crossings and are making people aware of the hazards of trespassing.”
Meanwhile, Kurla railway police station on the CR and Borivli railway police station on the WR have managed to consistently top the list of most number of deaths on their respective routes.
The Borivli railway police station operates four railway stations — Borivli, Kandivli, Malad and Goregaon. “The inflow of people on these stations is high,” said Chandrayan.
The Kurla railway police station has — Kurla, Vidyavihar, Ghatkopar, Vikhroli, Kanjurmarg, Bhandup, Nahur and Mulund —under its jurisdiction.