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Mumbai stampede: Railway minister Piyush Goyal puts safety on fast track, only after tragedy

The minister also ordered a high-level inquiry into the incident, which will be headed by the chief safety officer of the WR

mumbai Updated: Sep 30, 2017 00:17 IST
Aroosa Ahmed
Aroosa Ahmed
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Piyush Goyal,stampede
Railway minister Piyush Goyal outside KEM Hospital in Mumbai on Friday.(Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)

In the wake of Friday’s stampede at Elphinstone Road station, which left 22 people dead and 37 injured, Union railway minister Piyush Goyal ordered the western and central railway to conduct an audit of all suburban railway stations within seven days. The minister also ordered a high-level inquiry into the incident, which will be headed by the chief safety officer of the WR.

Goyal will meet senior officers of the railway board, team of Research Design Standard Organization (RDSO) and WR officers to discuss the incident at Churchgate on Saturday. Goyal said a multidisciplinary audit team will inspect railway stations and identify the areas of concern.

The minister ordered the railway officials to solve the issues pending with state agencies, including BMC, MMRDA and CIDCO, and plan additional foot overbridges (FOB) at stations where passenger traffic is high and upgrade electronic surveillance. Goyal has asked the railway officials to present a detailed report on other foot overbridges on the Mumbai suburban section within 24 hours. “Safety is the biggest concern. The railways will do everything possible in order to maintain safety. Investment and technology will be used to increase safety of commuters. Railway officials will inspect and submit a detailed report in seven days,” said Goyal, while addressing the media.

Meanwhile, the WR said the Elphinstone Road foot overbridge (FOB) had no structural damage.

Stating there is no dearth of funds for safety-related works, the authorities said they have got a sanction for a Rs6.75-crore 12-metre FOB to be built parallel to the north-end of the bridge, where the incident took place. The platforms at Elphinstone Road station will also be extended. Goyal visited KEM hospital to meet the injured, where he announced a compensation of Rs5 lakh to the nearest kin of victim’s family, Rs1 lakh to the grievously injured and Rs50,000 to those who suffered minor injuries. He later conducted a meeting with the senior officials of the CR and WR.

Meanwhile, Friday’s function where Goyal was to inaugurate 32 additional local train services on the WR and 28 on the CR was cancelled. The new train services will start from October 1.

First Published: Sep 30, 2017 00:17 IST