Nearly one third of the people dying on railway premises in the city remain unidentified, according to statistics provided the government railway police. In 2013, the GRP disposed of bodies of 1,119 of the 3,506 people who died in areas under their jurisdiction.
Considering that nearly 75 lakh commuters use the suburban network daily, the figures are a grim reminder of the number of people living in Mumbai without an identity. While most of them take up low-wage jobs, which provide little or no security, many end up being beggars and junkies.
The latest data shows that Kalyan, Kurla, CST, Borivli and Thane registered the highest number of unclaimed bodies last year. While 156 unclaimed bodies were found in Kalyan, there were 101 people who remained anonymous even after death at CST.
Mumbai, the city of opportunities, attracts thousands of migrants from various parts of the country every year. Struggling to find a roof over the head, most of these newcomers settle in slum pockets and far-flung areas, before becoming users of Mumbai's rail network.
From time to time, media and the police have been exposing how these migrants take up the jobs of security guards and labourers at construction sites without their credentials being examined.
The situation may also pose a problem on security front, say cops.
“When we come across the body of a body of an unidentified person, we take a photograph of the deceased, and along with his/her description, circulate it to all police stations, control rooms across the state. We also telecast it via Doordarshan and publish it in newspapers to trace the person's relatives,” said an officer of Mumbai Railway Police.
The officer added that while they wait for a claimant to turn up, the body is kept in the morgue of a government-run hospital for eight days. If it remains unclaimed for long, railway cops dispose of it.
Saying it is always challenge to trace the relatives of a beggar or a drug addict, Rajendra Pal, inspector at Mumbai Railway Police Headquarters said, “Thanks to railway police's sincere efforts, the number of unclaimed bodies has dropped from 1,392 in 2008 to 1,119 in 2013.”
He said that the Mumbai GRP commissioner Prabhat Kumar launched a website http://shodh.gov.in in June 2012 to help people trace the identity of victims found on railway tracks.
The public can do a search on missing people by giving their physical description on the website.
Not on track
Kalyan: 420 156 264
Kurla: 444 129 315
CST: 200 101 099
Borivli: 345 094 251
Thane: 333 093 240