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RR Patil’s solution may lead to commuter stampede

State home minister RR Patil's quick-fix solution of curbing entry and exit points at railway stations and keeping them limited may boomerang.

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State home minister RR Patil's quick-fix solution of curbing entry and exit points at railway stations and keeping them limited may boomerang.

Experts and commuters argue it could lead to stampede and chaos, with the burgeoning number of commuters. Experts feel while it would be proper to close the illegal entry points along tracks, but they should not curb entry and exit points at stations.

“The Central Railway has recently clocked a growth in passenger figures by 1 lakh and this growing mass of people needs quick dispersal points and mass entry/exits. Narrowing down existing entry/exit points would further aggravate the situation and create crowd management problems,’’ a former member of railway passenger association said.

Patil on Tuesday had directed railway authorities to ensure closure of all “unauthorised’’ entry points into railway stations within six months.

Madhu Kotian of the Mumbai Suburban Railway Association, said: “The railways are increasing the length of trains and platforms and curbing these points would be disastrous.”
Patil met senior police and railway officials to take a review of the security of the railway network at the Mantralaya.

Subhash Gupta, former member of the National Railway Users’ Consultative Committee’ said the authorities should work out the points at each station according to the passenger traffic. “Everyone knows that railway police is short-staffed. The suggestion to curb these points stems from that. It’s not being fair to the commuters,'' he said.

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