Two days after Thane subway murder, commuters demand CCTV, SATIS to curb crime
The recent murder of a 45-year-old man inside the subway in Kalyan (East) railway station has highlighted how unsafe the pathway connecting the station and Kalyan (East) is at night
“Despite a skywalk connecting Siddharth Nagar area, many choose to take the narrow subways as a short-cut on a daily basis,” said N. D Patil senior inspector, Kolsewadi police station.
The first arm of the skywalk towards Siddharth Nagar was opened in January last year while the second arm towards Kolsewadi is yet to be opened. The Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) has assured that it will be opened before monsoon this year.
The incident took place on Tuesday night when three drug addicts killed Vinod Surve, a resident of Chinchpada, Kalyan (East,) in a bid to rob him. They banged his head on the wall inside the subway.
Following this, the Kolsewadi police have started patrolling the area during night hours. The police managed to nab the three accused on Wednesday.
“Two of our cops are deployed to patrol the subway premises in the night to ensure safety of commuters. The entire area outside the railway station on the east side is isolated and has several drug addicts in the night. We will keep a watch on them,” said Patil.
Several commuters who are now taking the skywalk instead of the subway claim that the Railways should shut down the subways and the commuters should be forced to use the skywalk. Commuters also demanded installation of CCTV in the area and developing a station area traffic management system (SATIS).
“The only way to keep continuous watch in the area is by installing CCTV. Presently, there are no cameras installed,” said Pooja Mishra, 40 , a commuter who takes the subway daily from Kolsewadi.
“I think the only way to curb such incidents is to close the tunnels and not allow commuters to walk through the railway land. This will force them to take the skywalk which is safer,” said Maya Prajapati, 34, a commuter who takes the skywalk from Siddharth Nagar daily to reach Kalyan station.
Railway police officials are usually deployed near the subways in the day to keep a watch on the hawkers’ menace outside the subways. However, at night, the entire area is unsafe. “The subways are narrow and dimly lit. I think the subways should have at least two cops deployed throughout the night,” said Sandesh Munde, 45, a commuter who takes the tunnel daily to reach the Kalyan station.
When one leaves Kalyan railway station towards the east side, one has to take one subway and then trespass the railway tracks to reach Siddharth Nagar. If one has to reach the Kolsewadi area, then two subways come in the way.
A Railway Protection Force (RPF) officer, requesting anonymity, said, “Currently, we have asked our officials to keep a watch in these areas in the night and nab drug addicts in the area. Meanwhile, we will also ask the commuters to take the available skywalk and avoid using the subway as much as possible.”
THE SKYWALK WHICH NO ONE TAKES
CONSTRUCTION: Built by the KDMC, the Rs 35-crore skywalk is funded by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA). Started in 2011, the work was delayed as the civic body missed several deadlines due to changes being made in the project plan.
Currently, 90% of the work for the second arm of the skywalk is over. “Almost 90% of the work for the second arm is finished. Some work of the roof is remaining. We will finish the work before monsoon,” said Tarun Juneja, executive engineer, KDMC.
MURDER TRIGGERS PANIC
A 45-year-old man, who heading towards Ganesh Mandir Chowk in Kalyan (East) on Tuesday night, was killed by three drug addicts in the railway subway . The man was robbed of money and a mobile phone. The Kolsewadi police arrested the three accused.
The victim – Vinod Surve works in a private firm in Uran. As per the police, the accused stopped him and beat him up brutally and later banged his head on the wall. It was after a while before other commuters taking the subway saw Surve bleeding and alerted the police. Surve is married and has a child.
The area on the east of the Kalyan railway station is isolated with open land, two subways, and goods train tracks unlike the Kalyan (West) side which is busy. Commuters have to walk through the isolated railway land to reach the autorickshaw stand, which is at least a 1-km away from the station.
Residents also claim that commuters don’t take the skywalk because most of them park their vehicles near the tunnels. “There should be a SATIS developed in Kalyan (East) which will help one reach the station on their vehicles without taking the skywalks. Those who do not have a vehicle can take the skywalk,” said Ajay Mehta, 46, a resident of Tisgaon Kalyan (East).
The subway around 10 years old.
The Kolsewadi police said that two commuters had complained against drug addicts in the past six months but no case was lodged.