CR plans live updates on train delays outside Mumbai stations, police vans to issue rain alerts
In a bid to control the crowd at railway stations during the monsoon, the Central Railway (CR) will be announcing the live status of its local trains along with updates of water-logging outside the stations. This will be done to reduce overcrowding when trains are delayed or not operational.
“The station masters at every station will be instructed to make announcements, which will be aired outside the premises. The standard operating procedure (SOP) teams have also been informed about it. During heavy rainfall or if there is a disruption in the local train services, commuters will know about it before entering the railway stations,” said a senior central railway official.
CR has previously received flak for poor public announcement services during delays, technical failures and accidents.
The idea was suggested by the commissioner of police, Nashik, Ravinder Singal, who held a seminar at the CR headquarters on Wednesday on dealing with overcrowding at railway stations. Singal, who previously served as the government railway police (GRP) commissioner of the city (2014-2015) advised the railway protection force (RPF) officials on crowd control methods on the platforms and foot overbridges during heavy rainfall and the steps to be undertaken in case of a stampede.
Central railway has constituted SOP teams for its major railway stations wherein critical foot over bridges and overcrowding spots have been identified. Maharashtra security force (MSF), RPF and home guards will be positioned at critical locations throughout the monsoon.
These precautions are a result of the stampede on a foot over bridge at Elphinstone Road railway station on September 29. 23 people lost their lives and 39 were injured in the incident.
Police vehicles to announce rain alerts
Meanwhile, all police vehicles across the city have been fitted with a public address system to tackle emergencies that may arise during the heavy rains forecast for the next three days. This was done so that information about flooding, traffic and weather updates can be given to the public, said joint commissioner of police, law and order, Deven Bharti. He said police stations have received rescue equipment in flood-prone areas. Extra manpower is being deployed at the main control room. Over 1,500 extra men have been drawn in from the reserve forces and hotlines are in place with BMC’s disaster management cell streamlining joint rescue or relief measures.