The railways have finally got its act together and asked citizens to send their opinion for improving suburban services.
The Central Railway which received flak for appointing inexperienced members in the committee formed to look into the passengers deaths on suburban railways has invited suggestions from commuters to address the overcrowding issue in trains during peak hours. Everyday commuters die after falling on tracks while commuting in jampacked trains. Passengers have often complained about the hardships they have to face while travelling in local trains but railways have failed to address their problems. The railways have finally got its act together and asked citizens to send their opinion for improving suburban services.
Central Railway’s Chief PRO Narendra Patil said, “In its first meeting (on December 6), our committee members discussed various issues on accidental deaths at length, but they also wanted larger participation of commuters. Hence it was decided to incorporate the suggestions of passengers also to weed out the ailing issues of suburban commute.”
Issuing a statement, CR said that commuters need not to visit any office rather they can send their suggestions by logging on to www.Cr.Indianrailways.Gov.In and clicking the link or copy paste the following http://www.Cr.Indianrailways.Gov.In/view_section. Jsp? lang=0&id=0,7,278 on their browser.
Alternately, they can email their suggestions on firstname.lastname@example.org also, the statement said. The last date for sending suggestions is December 21.
Arvind Sawant, Shiv Sena MP from South Mumbai & member of the panel constituted by Central Railway said, “The railways should introduce 15 coach locals to accommodate more passengers during peak hours. Height of platforms should be increased as there have been several instances of commuters falling in the gap between platform and train.”
Rajan Vichare, Shiv Sena MP from Thane & member of the panel constituted by Central Railway said, “The railways should change the timings of long distance trains entering in the city during morning. They can also terminate these trains outside the city. Punctuality of suburban trains can be increased if these steps are taken.”
For implementing these steps the Central Railway will have make changes in the time table of long distance trains. However at present Kalyan and Panvel station lack the necessary infrastructure to accommodate long distance trains and railways will have to construct new terminals.
Central railway is planning to introduce a local train which will have a seating arrangement like metro for accommodating more standing passengers in February 2016.
Experts have long been suggesting introduction of new seating arrangements on local trains to create more space for standees. But the idea time and again ran into resistance at various levels. However, the Central Railway has now decided to push through with it on an experimental basis.
“A whopping 25,722 passengers fell from suburban trains (travelling on Western, Central and Harbour suburban services in Mumbai Commissionerate) in last 10 years, of whom 6,989 commuters died while 18,733 survived,” said RTI activist Anis Khan quoting a reply received from Government Railway Police (GRP), Mumbai.
The Bombay High Court had rapped the railways for its lackadaisical approach towards safety of passengers and failure to provide better services in suburban local trains.