In wake of Elphinstone station tragedy, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday held a high-level meeting and took some key decisions in the interest of passenger safety. In one of the major decisions, the minister said that Foot Over Bridges (FOBs) will not remain a mere passenger amenity, and will now be deemed mandatory for passengers. “We are turning a 150 year old convention on its head, hereafter, FOBs (Foot Over Bridges) will be deemed mandatory not a passenger amenity,” Goyal said in a Tweet.
“To eliminate bureaucracy and delays, I have empowered GMs to spend whatever is necessary on safety,” Goyal added. The ministry has also sanctioned additional escalators for crowded Mumbai suburban stations and thereafter for all high traffic stations. The Railway Minister also said that as many as 200 officers will be relocated from Head Quarters as field staff to strengthen ground operations and project implementation.
At least 23 people died and over 30 were injured in the stampede that took place on Friday narrow foot-over-bridge (FoB) that connects the Elphinstone Road on the Western Railway to Parel on the Central line. As per a senior official, the minister had also held marathon meetings on Thursday. He had said Parel terminus project is likely to be executed on a fast-track mode and several measures will be taken to prevent recurrence of such incidents.