The CENTRAL Railway (CR) and Western Railway (WR) have deployed 258 personnel of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Travelling Ticket Examiners (TTEs) to handle crowds at “critical” foot overbridges at railway stations during rush hours. Critical foot overbridges are identified as those which see the maximum rush of commuters during the morning and evening peak hours.
They have been deployed in both morning and evening peak hours at stations including Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), Dadar, Andheri and Ghatkopar. “The staff have been given special duty from their routine jobs to man these stations in these particular hours. This will continue till a proper schedule of the work shift is prepared,” a senior railway official said.
Following the stampede on the staircase of a foot overbridge at Elphinstone Road station on September 29, officials have been deployed below and on foot overbridges to streamline the crowds. Through megaphones and walkie-talkies, commuters are advised to not crowd at a position for too long and keep the flow smooth “We have received a positive response through deployment of staff at the stations. Good suggestions which include the need for widening foot overbridges, or the need for more escalators, are being given. Commuters also approach us to inform about where they find the most problem while commuting,” a senior RPF official said.
Officials said they are also noticing the need for better infrastructure at stations. “For example, the foot overbridge near Titwala station on Central Railway is very old and in a bad condition. Another overbridge is needed at the end of CSMT. We will update these suggestions regularly and seek action on the same,” an RPF official added.