After Elphinstone Road stampede, Railways launches audit of Mumbai suburban stations

Mumbai: Four days after the Elphinstone Road station stampede claimed 23 lives, the railway administration on Tuesday launched a "multidisciplinary" audit of all suburban train stations in and around Mumbai, senior officials said.

While the Central Railway has formed eight teams for the task, the Western Railway has set up five. They have roped in representatives of five municipal corporations, including the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

The audit, which was announced by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal the day the tragedy struck the metropolis, will cover more than 110 suburban stations.

Meanwhile, the Western Railway also launched an inquiry into the circumstances leading to the stampede.

File image of Elphinstone Road station where a stampede took place on Friday. Firstpost/ Aprameya Rao.

File image of Elphinstone Road station where a stampede took place on Friday. Firstpost/ Aprameya Rao.

Hours after the railway foot-overbridge (FOB) stampede on 29 September, Goyal had announced a safety and capacity audit of all FOBs on the suburban train network, considered the lifeline of the city and its satellite towns. He had also ordered an inquiry by the chief safety officer of the Western Railway.

Apart from the BMC, officials of Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC), Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC), Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation (VVMC), Mira-Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC), the Government Railway Police (GRP) and Mumbai Police are involved in the exercise, a senior railway official said.

"These teams would do a multidisciplinary audit of 36 suburban stations of the WR and 76 stations of the CR. They will study the problem of trespassing, the requirement of extension of FOBs or skywalks, requirement of lifts or escalators.

"They will also identify the waterlogging prone areas and look at the issues of crowd management and hawkers," chief public relations officer (CPRO) of the CR Sunil Udasi said.

The teams will click photos and capture videos of the site, if required, and submit the reports to the divisional railway heads within a week. These issues will be taken up further at the higher level, he said.

Asked about the inquiry, a senior WR official said, "Yes, we launched an inquiry on Tuesday and we have already published advertisements appealing to people to come forward to share the information related to the stampede."

He said the statements of two seriously injured passengers were recorded on Tuesday. If other injured passengers find it difficult to visit the office set up by the railways for the purpose, teams from the public sector transporter will visit them to record their statements, he said.

Updated Date: Oct 03, 2017 19:55 PM

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