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Published on 09 Jul 2015 | about 1 year ago

A human being is the casualty of a train accident - his body has been chopped in half by a running train. The number of injured was 2,062 on the Central Railway and 1,237 on the Western Railway, the total of which comes to 3,299 in 2014.

An average of nine persons lost their lives daily due to accidents, suicides or natural deaths while on the move in suburban Mumbai Railway, the lifeline of the country's financial capital in 2015.

The data of 'Accidental Deaths - Year 2014' available with the Government Railway Police (GRP) states 2,221 deaths occurred on Central Railway (CR) network and 1,202 fatalities on the Western Railway (WR). The number of injured was 2,062 on the CR and 1,237 on the WR, the total of which comes to 3,299 last year. This means on an average eight passengers suffered injuries daily.

In 2013, a total 83 more accidental deaths were reported along the 474.66 km long railway route in comparison with the year 2014. The number of injured was 2062 on the CR and 1256 on the WR.

Rail activists have dubbed the suburban railway network as a 'silent killer' due to the alarming number of deaths and injuries on tracks, saying the lifeline is proving to be a "virtual death trap". GRP Commissioner Ravindra Singhal admits there is a need for introspection by the railway authorities and police.

"I do agree that the figure is worrying. There is a need to improve infrastructure by constructing more Foot Over Bridges (FOB), manning railway cross gates, building more safety walls. Besides, the most important thing is sensitising the passengers that how seriously change their lives if they do not follow safety norms."

Central Railway spokesperson A K Singh laid emphasis on creating awareness among the commuters. "Commuters do not use available FOBs risking their lives. We have constructed boundary walls at major junctions. We are doing everything best we could do to better our service," Singh claimed.

Kalyan railway police station jurisdiction, with 849 fatalities, topped the accidental death chart followed by Kurla Railway Police which recorded 681 deaths in 2014.

In 2013 too, Kalyan railway police jurisdiction witnessed 815 deaths while Kurla saw 747 fatalities.

The causes of the deaths are many. Maximum number of commuters lost their lives while crossing railway tracks with the figure being 1,912 followed by passengers falling from moving trains with 797 such cases reported. As many as 34 passengers died due to fall in the gap between platform and trains while 11 died after being hit by a pole while the train was on the move. Scores died due to illness while travelling in trains.

'Natural death due to illness' accounts for 468 cases. As many as 33 people have committed suicide. If a passenger dies on a train while travelling, an 'Accidental Death Case' is usually registered by the railway police stations, even if it later turns out that the person died of ill health. Rajiv Singhal, a rail activist, blames administrative lapses for the passenger deaths.

"These incidents should be seen more seriously than terrorism. Suburban rail network has been neglected since long. It needs urgent attention," said Rajiv, who is also a member of Divisional Railway Users Consultative Committee (DRUCC), which works for welfare of passengers. Another rail activist Shailesh Goyal said passengers have exceeded the railway capacity and the network was not in a position to accommodate any more commuters.

"Its capacity needs to be strengthened, besides creating awareness among the commuters. Need to build infrastructure so that passengers do not cross the tracks. Otherwise the Railway will continue to lay its death traps," he said. He suggested that there should be emergency medical centres at main railway junctions such as Dadar, Virar, Mumbai central, Kurla and Kalyan among others so that the injured can be treated at the earliest after an accident.

Source : dnaindia.com

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