Close to 2,500 Mumbaikars die every year on railway tracks

Close to 2,500 Mumbaikars die every year on railway tracks

A recent report by Mumbai Railway Police showed that more than 2,500 people die and over 3,000 are injured annually on Mumbai's rail network. The railways are considered as the lifeline for Mumbai's citizens but the report showcases a dark side of this transport. 

The report compiled by Mumbai's Railway Police Commissionerate in 2019, stated that as many as 2,691 people lost their lives and 3,198 sustained injuries on the suburban network.

The Economic Survey of India, quoting figures from the Railway Police stated that in 2017, there were 3,014 deaths and 3,345 injuries. Compared to which, in 2018, the rail network recorded 2,981 deaths and 3,349 cases of injuries.

The number of accidents has come down after CR and WR started running awareness campaigns. Earlier, Central Railway officials had claimed that after the rail corporation implemented measures using neuroscience and behavioural study, they were able to reduce the number of deaths caused by trespassing by a record a 44 per cent.

The causes of these deaths comprise of line-crossing, falling in gaps, falling from the train, hitting railway poles, electric shocks, suicides, among others.

"Apart from announcements in the local trains and sensitising on safety, various measures have been taken to prevent accidents like the construction of overbridges, subways, and walls to control trespassing, and sealing of trespassing points and shifting of poles," the Economic Survey told Deccan Herald.

Daily, more than 80 lakh people commute using Mumbai's suburban network. The rail network is spread across six lines covering 390-odd km and 157 stations in the Mumbai metropolitan region. The CR and WR collectively run 3,029 services daily.

Meanwhile, Railways has also constructed a wall on either side of the railway tracks to curb trespassing of railway tracks. So far, the corporation has finished the construction of 113.15kms of the wall out of the proposed 130km-long wall.

This year, Central Railway constructed 17.25kms of the wall and the work for another 27.5 km is in progress. On the other hand, Railways has also constructed 79 foot-over bridges in the last five years and the work for 24 other bridges is ongoing. 

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