The number of commuters losing life in local train-related mishaps has seen a rise this year. Till April, 682 people died on tracks, while the figure was 652 for the corresponding period last year, according data available with the railway police.
In what could bring some solace to the railway officials, the number of commuters injured has come down from 716 last year to 679 in the first four months of this year.
According to the railway police and the Railway Protection Force (RPF), 90 per cent of the fatalities pertain to accidents that take place while crossing tracks, which is trespassing, slipping from the footboard while travelling in overcrowded trains or losing balance while performing stunts.
The most accident-prone areas, according to the statistics, are Kalyan with 142 incidents, followed by Kurla with 133 cases of accidental deaths reported.
"We conduct regular drives against trespassing and fine people who are caught. But this does not stop people from risking their lives again. People are too lazy to take the foot over bridges as it takes a few minutes more for which they prefer crossing tracks. In the process of saving time, these people put their lives in risk," said a senior RPF officer, requesting anonymity.
The RPF kicked off the drive against trespassing in 2004 in order to prevent people from crossing railway tracks after it was observed that many people were crossing tracks and losing their lives in the process. The purpose behind the drive was to reduce the number of mishaps and it did bring good results. However, the mishaps still continue to occur rampantly.
A railway police officer said, "People, especially youngsters, perform stunts while traveling in the trains and many times lose their balance and lose their lives. It has to be understood that railway accidents are not like road accidents. If a person is hit by train he is either going to die or become handicapped."
Lost on tracks
2,052 No. of accidental deaths in 2013
682 No. of local commuters died in rly mishaps till April
652 No. of deaths track deaths till April 2013
Kalyan - 142 deaths
Kurla - 133 deaths