Railways Minister Piyush Goyal held an emergency meeting with officials from the ministry on Friday following the stampede on a foot overbridge at Mumbai’s Elphinstone Road Station which killed at least 22 people and injured 39 others. The ministry has issued a slew of directives, including upgrading CCTV systems, resolving pending issues and sorting out space constraints at all stations. Earlier on Friday, Goyal announced a high-level enquiry into the incident and an ex-gratia payment of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased and between Rs 50,000 and Rs 1 lakh to those injured.
“We are well aware of the existing problem of rising passenger count and limited suburban trains. I have told the Centre about it and we will soon work on it,” Goyal had told The Indian Express earlier in the day.
Heavy rains in Mumbai on Friday morning led to a rush of commuters entering Elphinstone railway station, leading to a stampede on the foot overbridge at its entrance. Thousands of commuters reportedly pass through the station, located on the Western Line of the Mumbai suburban railway network, everyday.
The ministry has directed multidisciplinary audit teams to inspect all suburban stations within one week and identify areas of concern. All pending work on footover bridges (FOB) are to be completed, while additional FOBs will be planned at others stations where passenger traffic is high. Further, the ministry has given all agencies, including the BMC, MMRDA, CIDCO and the state government, a week’s time to resolve all pending issues. It has also directed officials to identify critical locations prone to similar situations and draw up actions plans for them.
— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) September 29, 2017