Launched two months ago by the Mumbai Government Railway Police (GRP), the website (shodh.gov.in) has already benefited 343 families trace their kin who died or were injured in train accidents. The police say the portal’s special features, including photographs of victims, have made the search more effective.
Over 3,800 persons were injured and 3,450 died in railway mishaps on the suburban section of central and Western Railway last year (see box).The website, which has been functional since July, is in the last leg of completion, and will be formally inaugurated within two months. The officials said that they had been working on the website since January and have managed to create a system that is better than the missing persons portals operated by the central and Western Railway.
A GRP officer said, “We used to forward the details of accident victims to CR and WR, including photographs, but they were uploading only the description, not the pictures. This would result in several matches showing the physical description of the person being searched for, which was adding to the trauma of the kin.”
The website has been visited by over 3,095 people since it became operational.
A constable, Vijay Chavan, attached with the computer department of the GRP, played an important role in completing the linkages. “The top brass of GRP conceptualised the idea. Features such as photograph of the victim, photo of his clothes in case his face is damaged, apart from a detailed physical description, is available on the website. This has helped several persons who had been searching for their kin for months,” said Chavan, a postgraduate in computer application.
GRP commissioner Prabhat Kumar said: “We are on the verge of completing work on the portal. Once it is upgraded with the global positioning system (GPS) facility, policemen would be able to update the website on real-time basis, along with the latitude and longitude details of the victim, giving further edge to the website.”