Date: - 03-01-13
RAILWAYS: A SLOW STATE OF AFFAIR!
Accidents and chaos are everywhere and Mumbai with its population of over 20.5 million is no exception to this. The once efficient suburban rail network is the lifeline of Mumbai, however over the past two decades; it is creaking under the weight of passenger influx and lack of investment in upgrading infrastructure. The extraordinary crowding of trains and poor commuter facilities at stations makes the Mumbai train system so prone to accidents that nearly 10 people die in railway mishaps every day - a figure that would have made front page news anywhere else in the world but meets with apathy in India. A few safety issues related Mumbai suburban railways are :
Due to its extensive reach across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, and its intensive use by the local urban population, the Mumbai Suburban Railway suffers from some of the most severe overcrowding in the world. Over 4,500 passengers are packed into a 9-car rake during peak hours, as against the rated carrying capacity of 1,700. This has resulted in what is known as Super-Dense Crush Load of 14 to 16 standing passengers per square metre of floor space. Trains on the suburban line are on average more than 4 minutes apart, contributing to the problem of overcrowding. Fatalities
On an average, 3,700 people die annually on the Mumbai Suburban Rail network. A query filed by Chetan Kothari under the Right to Information (RTI) has revealed that over the past 10 years (2002-2012), more than 36,152 lives have been lost on tracks and 36,688 people have been injured. This is believed to be the highest number of fatalities per year on any urban or suburban railway system. Most of the deaths are of passengers crossing the tracks on foot, instead of using the footbridges provided for going from one platform to another, and are hit by passing trains. Some passengers die when they sit on train roofs to avoid the crowds and are electrocuted by the...
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