Ex Railway minister Dinesh Trivedi, BJP MP Kirit Somaiya and chairman of a petition committee of Lok Sabha MPs, Bhagat Singh Koshyari, travel in a local train on Tuesday to understand commuters’ problems
Mumbai: The petition committee of Parliament on Tuesday visited Mumbai’s suburban railway stations — Bhandup, Mulund and Churchgate — on both the Central and Western Railway to check the safety of passengers.
A petition committee comprising 15 Lok Sabha MPs on Tuesday visited Bhandup and Ghatkopar railway stations to take stock of problems faced by commuters of local trains, and safety measures at the stations. The committee’s visit was in response to a petition submitted by Mumbai Rail Pravasi Sangh, a city-based NGO, which drew Parliament’s attention towards commuter safety and problems. BJP MP Kirit Somaiya had forwarded the petition to Lok Sabha. The committee, headed by MP Bhagat Singh Koshiyari and including former Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi, interacted with passengers at the railway stations.
A member of the committee said, “Trespassing-related accidents can be brought down if foot-overbridges at all stations are interlinked.”
The committee also took stock of the platform-raising work, which is being carried out following directives by the Bombay high court to prevent incidents of commuters falling into gaps.
Divisional Railway User Consultative committee Subash Gupta said, “Instead of visiting stations like Bhandup and Mulund where accidents are rare, the committee should have inspected facilities at stations like Kurla and Wadala were several accidents take place every year.”
Bhandup and Mulund railway stations are under the parliamentary constituency of MP Kirit Somaiya, who had sought a visit by the committee.
Bhagat Singh Koshyari, chairman of the committee, said Mumbaikars will see the good results after their visits.
“We have gathered necessary information and this visit is really going to be fruitful for the people of Mumbai,” Mr Koshyari said. The committee members held formal discussions with the representatives of the Ministry of Railways and said that necessary action would be taken after due deliberations on all points involved.
The members also visited the spot at Ghatkopar station where a student of SNDT college student Monica More had lost both her hands after falling off while trying to board a train. They also interacted with her briefly.
Former Railway minister Dinesh Trivedi, who was part of the committee, took a swipe at the Centre’s bullet train project, saying it should care about the suburban local commuters first, who are forced to travel like “cattle” during peak hours.
Mr Trivedi pointed out the jampacked and highly overloaded suburban local trains here and said, “Just see how the people are forced to travel like cattle. Even cattle travel better than this. First make common man’s travel dignified and then talk about bullet trains. The bitter part of the truth is that the foundation of Indian Railways is shaken.”
Madhu Kotian, petitioner in the case and president of Mumbai Rail Pravasi Sangh said, “It’s good to see MPs following my petition and this time I am very much hopeful that this visit would come out with fruitful results, unlike in the past.”
Top brass of central railway including General Manager and Divisional Railway Manager of Mumbai Division also accompanied the committee.