Kurla (CLA): Fatalities recorded by the Government Railway Police (GRP) in 2013 have helped map the most dangerous stations/stretches on Mumbai’s lifeline.
Kurla stretch in the suburban railway network recorded the highest number of fatalities (444) and topped the list in deaths due to falling off trains (121). Kalyan stretch recorded the maximum trespassing fatalities (246) and 420 casualties in all, while Mumbai Central — each covering three to six contiguous stations — saw the most deaths (7) due to falls into the gap between train and platform.
A total of 3,506 commuters were killed and 3,318 injured between January and December in 2013, showed the statistics accessed through RTI by activist Chetan Kothari.
The Kurla division, which stretches from Kurla to Mulund station, faces severe overcrowding during peak hours. If 121 people died after falling off trains (the highest), 214 people died crossing tracks (the second highest), two died after hitting railway poles (second highest) and one after falling into the gap between train and platform. It’s among the few divisions to record casualties in all four types of accidents.
“Kurla is an important junction where passengers can opt to change trains for harbour line or central main line. Several passengers also get off here to take a bus to BKC, Santacruz or Bandra. On Monday alone, we had three commuters falling of trains. The density of crowds is far greater here compared to other stations,” said senior inspector Shivaji Dhumal, Kurla GRP. To ease some of its problems, the MRVC has announced a project to interconnect the foot overbridges (FOBs) and build escalators.
Further down the line, Kalyan division — extending from Kalyan to Kasara on one line and Kalyan to Badlapur on the other — saw 246 persons die while crossing tracks. Activists blame insufficient fencing and FOBs. “Large tracts of slums occupy areas adjacent to the tracks. Most of the people found to be crossing tracks for a short-cut are slum-dwellers,” said senior inspector Somnath Tambe, Kalyan GRP.
In June 2013, 20-year-old student Puja Patil lost both her legs while trying to get on a local at Dadar (WR). After battling for life for 41 days, she succumbed to her injuries. Dadar station is part of the Mumbai Central division (Mahim to Mumbai Central), which recorded the maximum number of deaths of commuters who fell into the gap between train and platform.
In the western suburbs, the Borivli division came across as a deadly stretch, recording 345 deaths in all — 184 for track crossings , 97 caused by falling off trains, 3 crushed when they fell into the gap (the second highest after Mumbai Central) and one killed after hitting a pole.
The statistics also show that Vasai, Karjat and Kurla divisions had the most deaths due to hitting poles. “Stunts could be a cause,” said D B Pable, senior inspector of Karjat GRP, which covers from Vangani to Khopoli stations.