Although mostly referred to as the lifeline of the average Mumbaikar, there is also a tragic side to the Mumbai local.
Shocking figures have emerged from an RTI report filed by Thane-based activist Suyash Pradhan regarding the number of casualties in train accidents. Despite the authorities and NGOs requesting passengers to not travel on footboards and refrain from crossing railway tracks, a lot of people continue doing it and lose their lives as a result.
As per Pradhan's report, Thane Division recorded 634 accidents in 2013, in which 333 people lost their lives, including deaths of 203 people, who died while crossing tracks. Further 301 injuries were recorded in 2013 out of which 169 injuries were due to passengers falling from the train.
Kalyan division recorded a more dismal story and tops the chart with 667 accidents out of which 333 people lost their lives which includes 257 deaths due to track crossing. Three hundred and thirty four-cases of injuries were reported in the same year, of which 175 passengers fell off the train.
Although Dombivli recorded fewer accidents compared to Thane and Kalyan divisions, but figures are bothersome, nevertheless. Dombivli division recorded 412 accidents, of which 189 deaths were confirmed.
Eighty-six of the 189 deaths happened while the victims were crossing the track. As for the remaining 228 injuries, 146 people of it fell off the train.
Pradhan informs, "The high number of deaths due to crossing tracks needs attention and despite several attempts there has been no change. Officials should also look at improving the infrastructure which has not been done yet."
"Although many guidelines have been issued to lessen the gap between the train and platform, officials still have a lackluster attitude and are taking their own time to start work. The officials should start this work at a war-footing, but instead they are so reluctant," says another activist.
He adds, "There is a need to re-assess the problem and implement strict measures to curb it."