Acting on a suo motu public interest litigation (PIL), the Bombay High Court Thursday pulled up the railways for not taking any steps to reduce the gap between footboards of local trains and platforms. Several accidents have taken place due to the gap, resulting in commuters losing both life and limb.
A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sanklecha directed an expert committee appointed by the High Court in October 2011 to look into issues faced by handicapped commuters and examine the gap between footbaords and platforms. The court also directed railway officials to assist the committee in the inspection.
“You (Railways) are not willing to listen to others. You think that whatever you have said is right and others are wrong,” said the bench.
The court had taken cognisance of the issue after a 16-year-old college girl, Monica More, lost her arms after falling into a gap in a platform at Ghatkopar station last month.
The railways Thursday informed the court that the platforms where the height is required to be raised had not been identified yet, and it would take around four years to increase the height. The railways also told the court that the gap between footboards of local trains and platforms were not the sole cause behind commuters losing their life or limbs in mishaps.
The High Court, however, refuted the submission and questioned why the railways was not willing to reduce the gap between the platforms and the footboards.
According to the railways, as the width of the long-distance trains is greater than local trains, the platforms have to be constructed keeping this in mind. The High Court, however, said that should not be a problem as such trains do not stop at stations.