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Mumbai’s Central Railway charts monsoon action plan, crowd control tops

CR has formed teams to be deployed at key stations, on FOBs.

mumbai Updated: May 27, 2018 00:57 IST
Aroosa Ahmed
Aroosa Ahmed
Hindsutan Times
mumbai,train,central railway
The move comes in the wake of last year’s stampede at Elphinstone Road station which killed 23.(HT file photo)

Learning its lesson from the unfortunate stampede at Elphinstone Road station, which killed 23 commuters in September last year, the Central Railway (CR) has put in place a plan to handle situations that may arise from overcrowding at railway stations during monsoon this year.

As part of its monsoon action plan, CR has formed Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) teams, which will be deployed at foot overbridges (FOB) and on narrow platforms. The teams will comprise personnel from the railway protection force, Maharashtra security force, and government railway police. They will be in charge of dispersing crowds and directing commuters during emergencies.

“The teams will be deployed at certain foot overbridges that are prone to overcrowding. The teams will be deployed at Ghatkopar railway station, the FOB connecting the metro, the FOB at Parel station on the CSMT side, and the FOBs at Dadar and Kurla stations, “ said a senior CR official.

These officials will have details of critical FOBs, and will also serve as contact points to local police stations, fire stations, and hospitals. They will be equipped with walkie-talkies, ropes, audio amplifiers, placards and searchlights, added the official.

Additional CCTV cameras will be placed at key stations and FOBs. The footage will be monitored directly by the station masters. At the Masjid railway station, two of three FOBs at the railway station have been deemed critical, meaning the possibility of overcrowding has been noted. Similarly, of the two FOBs at Parel station, the one towards the CSMT side has been deemed critical.

Drills for the dispersal of crowd were conducted on Saturday afternoon at Ghatkopar, Dadar and Kurla railway stations. Moreover, the railway authorities have built rain cover shed, extended over FOBs, for commuters. These have been constructed at Mumbra, Kalwa, Diva, Thane, Nahur, Kurla and Currey Road station, and are meant to be used for shelter during instances of heavy rains.

Further, extra maintenance blocks have been conducted, including night blocks that were conducted when local train operations were shut. Work on maintenance of railway tracks, removal of 18,000 cubic metre of muck from the tracks, and maintenance of signalling systems and over head equipments were undertaken during the blocks, said CR officials. “The blocks have been increased in order to check and maintain the systems. The 113-kilometre drainage line, which goes near and from the railway trained have been cleaned twice. A third cleaning will be undertaken soon,” said SK Pankaj, senior deputy general manager, CR.

First Published: May 27, 2018 00:21 IST