With the stampede at an old foot overbridge (FOB) at a suburban railway station killing 22 people today, a Shiv Sena minister has demanded separation of the Mumbai suburban railways from the overall rail network. The minister also demanded that the government implement the recommendations made by Kakodkar committee on providing improved passenger amenities. Minister for Public Works Department (state PSUs) Eknath Shinde said the suburban railway network which generates maximum revenue for the railways should be made independent of the overall railway network. He also said more powers be given to the local railway officers.
“The Kakodkar committee had suggested several measures to be undertaken in phases between 2012 to 2017. A sum of Rs 1,00,000 crore was needed for implementing the measures. Based on these recommendations, a project to improve the amenities should be undertaken,” Shinde said in a statement issued tonight. He alleged that the railway ministry officials have no concern for the well being of Mumbaikars. “On an average 15 people die daily and 3,000-4,000 people per year in railway-related accidents,” Shinde stated.
He also stated though the local officers understand the problems, they lack powers. At least 22 people were killed and over 30 injured in a rush hour stampede on a narrow FOB linking Elphinstone Road and Parel suburban stations during heavy rain this morning. Around 39 people were injured in the incident.