Rail Network in Mumbai geared for infrastructure boost to reduce accidents

MUMBAI: The Railways plans to initiate several measures to reduce trespassing-related deaths on the Mumbai suburban network. It has decided to spruce up infrastructure at 12 stations, like installing escalators and elevators, besides new foot-over-bridges.

Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC), which will execute this project, opened tenders for the 12 Central and Western Railway stations on January 9. “We will have to take the World Bank’s approval. Our aim is to ensure that work begins two to three months before the monsoon so that there is enough time for crucial civil work. We want to complete the project by May 2015,” a senior MRVC official said.

MRVC had appointed JJ School of Architecture as consultant to study the issue of trespassing and suggest remedial measures. “The consultant identified trespassing-prone areas and reasons, based on accident data and field visits. The consultant claimed trespassing-related accidents will reduce by 75-80% if the suggestions are adopted,” the official said.

A total of 26 escalators, 12 FOBS and eight elevators will come up across the selected stations. ” Green patches, comprising plants with heavy branches, will be developed between tracks or at the ends of the platforms,” he added.

The study also suggested redesigning stations so that commuters can disperse fast. For example at Dadar, it suggested three entry and exit gates should be provided on the west side. “FOBs will be inter-connected so that people can access preferred entry and exit points from any end of the station. Ramps will also be provided to give wheelchair users easy access to stations,” he said.

At Kanjurmarg, where there is heavy congestion when trains in both directions arrive simultaneously, an island platform will be built on the west side. Also, RCC wall and track dividers will be built to plug gaps and prevent people from walking on to the tracks.