Post the tragic stampede at Mumbai’s Elphinstone Road Station bridge on September 29 that claimed 29 lives, 13 railway audit teams, in their report, have suggested the construction of new foot-over bridges (FOBs), elevators, a number of subways and a slew of other changes to the railway network. The Central Railway’s multi-disciplinary teams submitted the report on Monday.
The audit report submitted has underscored that the redevelopment of Parel station needs to be given top priority. The report has recommended the fast tracking of the Parel terminus project, which will include the construction of double-discharge platforms that would accommodate 15-car trains. Other recommendations include a skywalk be built to connect platforms 1 and 2 of Parel stations from both ends, adding the widening of the existing FOB that connects the Parel and Elphinstone stations. Notably, this FOB is where the deadly stampede occurred. The weather sheets on the sides of the bridge which caused suffocation during the stampede have been suggested to be replaced with wire mesh netting.
The report has proposed a list of essentials required to prevent any Parel Station-like incidents on Mumbai’s life-line. The construction of around 50 new foot-over bridges and over a dozen elevators as well as installation of CCTV cameras are on the list. The team has also suggested the construction of dividers on certain FOBs to manage the flow of crowd.
The audit team report has recommended the removal of encroachments near Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), Masjid, Parel, and Chinchpokli. The report found Masjid station’s harbour platform to be slippery and the border of the staircase uneven. The report also recommended the construction of subways and widening of CSTM subway. At CSMT, the team found the construction of a mosque illegal. A new FOB is advised to be built at Dadar station connecting the Western and Central lines.
The Union Railway Minister, Piyush Goyal, had asked for the audit by a multi-disciplinary team in a meeting on September 30. The team consisted of eight central railway teams to inspect 76 suburban stations on the main, Harbour and Trans-Harbour lines. The five Western Railway teams conducted the audit from Churchgate to Dahanu.