Mumbai: The Railways on Wednesday told the Bombay High Court that it would soon form a committee to study the feasibility of installing CCTV cameras in ladies' coaches of suburban trains as a safety measure.
A lawyer representing the Central as well as the Western Railway said this to a bench headed by Justice Naresh Patil hearing a suo motu (on its own) PIL which was converted out of a letter written by AB Thakker, a passenger, seeking reservation of a separate compartment for senior citizens in local trains.
More than 50 lakh commuters travel by local trains everyday on Western, Central and Harbour lines.
Initially, the PIL was only confined to the issue of finding more space for senior citizens in local trains but later on other issues like safe travel, garbage on tracks, accidents and overcrowding in trains came up for consideration.
Both the Railways informed the court that they would form a joint committee to find out whether the proposed move to install CCTV cameras in ladies compartments of local trains would be feasible.
After the committee submits its report, the Railways would inform the HC about taking such a step in the interest of passenger safety, its lawyer informed the bench.
On 16 December last year, the High Court had asked the Railways to consider installing CCTV cameras in local trains.
The HC on Wednesday advised the Railways to put up iron rods fencing near the tracks at the railway stations to prevent the commuters from crossing the tracks. The accident rate also would come down by doing so, the bench opined. The HC suggested that the Railways should put up barbed wires on top of iron rod fencing so that commuters do not jump over the railing in a bid to cross the tracks.
The HC suggested that people living near the railway tracks should be prevented from throwing garbage in the Railway premises in the interest of passenger safety.
The court asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to create awareness among the people staying in the vicinity of Railway premises.
The bench also asked the Railways to raise the height of the platforms to lower the gaps between the platforms and the foot-board of the trains. This was suggested in view of commuters slipping into the gaps that result in accidents.
The HC asked whether the chain pulling system was functioning. To this, the Railways replied that it was working but the motormen stopped the trains at the next station and not in the middle of the tracks. This was done to prevent the commuters from getting down on the tracks. The HC also asked what steps were being taken by the Railways to remove the hawkers from the railway premises.
The mass transporter also said that it had written a letter to the Additional Chief Secretary of Maharashtra and the Railway Board to find out the feasibility of the proposal to have elevated suburban railway corridor.
The HC asked Railways to consider shifting of electric poles on the side of the tracks to prevent accidents as commuters standing on footpads at the doors of the trains often get hit by them and fall down.
The matter has been posted for hearing on 8 February.