The most ambitious project to reduce the number of track deaths on suburban railways - the Rs160 crore Trespass Control Project - has finally got off the ground with the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) allotting the work to five firms.
The first of the works - the creation of skywalks and other infrastructure to ensure that people don't have to cross the tracks - was for Kanjurmarg and Thane stations, which was won by AN Infrabuild for Rs21 crores.
The second lot - for Thakurli and Kalyan - went to Era Infra Engineering with the works set to cost Rs30 crores. The biggest of the five lots - the work at Dadar and Kurla stations - went to a joint venture of Era Infra Engineering and Saidutta at Rs60 crores.
The fourth lot is for Borivli and Kandivli and Sai Projects will execute it for Rs33 crores. The fifth lot comprising Bhayander, Vasai and Nallasopara will be executed by Era Infra Engineering at Rs37 crores.
The works are expected to be completed over the next couple of years, said the railway officials.
As reported by dna during its Rail Revolution series, deaths caused by crossing the tracks remains the biggest killer as far as railway accidents are concerned.
Statistics for 2013, show that these account for 52% of all railway accident deaths, 1,826 people were killed while crossing the tracks and a worrisome trend is that some 11% of these are women, their numbers standing at 210.
According to the statistics, Kalyan ranks the highest when it comes to rail crossing death with 246, followed by Kurla with 214, Thane with 203 deaths, Borivli and Vasai at 184, 134, respectively.
Kalyan also led in the number of women killed while crossing the tracks at 39. Thane at 26, Borivli at 21, Vasai at 19, Wadala and Palghar at 16 each.
According to officials, the Tespass Control Project is their best chance because despite the high number of people being fined and arrested for crossing tracks, the menace has been increasing every year. In 2013, the Railway Protection Force made a total of 14,060 cases and 411 of these people were sent to jail.
The Trespass Control Project in numbers:
Widening of FOBs- 2
New FOBs- 12
Interconnection between FOBs- 10
track divider-- 3,978 metres
green patches--- 18172 square metres