‘Littering on tracks caused derailment of Bandra train’
Hutment dwellers residing near the railway tracks, engineering staff and garbage along the line are to blame for derailment of a Bandra-bound local train last month, according to the report submitted by a Western Railway (WR) panel last week.
Four wheels of the third coach from Bandra-end of the CSMT-Bandra train derailed between King’s Circle and Mahim railway stations on October 2. No injuries were reported.
The WR had constituted a committee of senior administrative officials to investigate the cause of the mishap.
The report stated, “The committee concludes that the derailment of the electrical multiple unit (EMU) occurred due to a sudden settlement of wet formation due to continuous dumping of garbage under the passage of the local train.”
“There are encroachments by hutments on the east side of the harbour line at the location. The dumping of domestic garbage and open defecation are serious problems,” states the report.
However, according to the statement of the motorman of the derailed train, Ashok Shelar, he noticed local people gesticulating at him when he was crossing the stretch.
The statement included in the report also mentions that the motorman had noticed people working on the tracks without a banner flag while he was operating the train. “Shelar stated that he had seen four to five people, wearing orange reflective sleeveless jackets, were near the tracks doing some work, and that they moved aside when he blew the horn,” stated the report. The WR headquarters has asked its division to take immediate action against the engineering staff.
“The deterioration of the rail occurred due to the garbage. The division has been instructed to take action against the staff. The recommendations of the report are being implemented,” said a senior WR official. The report further recommends installation of CCTV cameras to identify offenders throwing garbage, setting up temporary toilets by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), track fencing, and drives by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) to penalise litterbugs.