It took three deaths at the level crossing at Vikhroli station for Central Railway (CR) to finally decide to construct a 15-m-long foot overbridge.
The overbridge will be constructed at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) end of Vikhroli station at a cost of Rs 2 crore.
Home minister RR Patil and Chhagan Bhujbal had a meeting on Monday, with railway officials and members from passenger associations, to find a solution to the problem.
Public Works at the meeting, the ministers stated that every year close to 4,000 people die in railway accidents under suburban trains.
While 2,500 people are either severely injured or get disabled. Everyday, at least 12 people die under tracks due to trespassing.
Department (PWD) minister Chhagan Bhujbal said, “The three railway agencies, the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation will hold a joint meeting in the next 15 days. If they fail to find a solution to prevent accidents then criminal action will be taken against railway officials.”
“This is not an issue at Vikhroli only. There are other stations too where people trespass because of a lack of overbridges,” Bhujbal said.
“We will begin work by January 15 next year and complete it by May 2011,” said chief PRO, S Mudgerikar of CR.
In the next month they will call for tenders and decide on a contractor for the overbridge.
The general manager of CR, Kul Bhushan also had a meeting with officials from the railway police on November 22.
They have been asked to man the level crossing and prevent trespassing.
The speed restriction on local trains too has been brought down at Gate 31 (near the level crossing) at Vikhroli.
“A notice board has been put up in the motorman’s room asking them to cut down speed to 50 kmph from the earlier 70-80 kmph on this stretch,” said a senior CR official on condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
This step has been taken as a train halts only 200 m after the brake is applied.