From eviction of hawkers to construction of foot overbridges (FOBs) – the safety audit that was released on Tuesday suggested a series of steps to prevent an Elphinstone Road-like stampede at stations across the city.
In the wake of the stampede that killed 23 on September 29, union railway minister Piyush Goyal formed 13 teams comprising CR, WR, civic and police officials to look at the issues faced by commuters and recommend changes.
The audit team, in its report submitted last week, suggested that hawkers on the railway land and 150m area surrounding the station be evicted. The authorities need to demarcate the plots they are in charge of so there is clarity on who needs to initiate the crackdown, says the report. Railway officials said the civic body has agreed to cooperate with them to act against illegal hawkers.
Other suggestions include construction of skywalks by civic bodies with landing on railway stations, building more FOBs, installation of more CCTV cameras at entry and exit points, setting up government railway police (GRP) help desks at stations, and removing advertisements on FOBs, among others.
The team has also given specific analysis of the situation at stations. For instance, how Sewri station on the harbour line of the CR has no exit points to the east, which leads to a large number of people crossing the tracks. They have also included the suggestions by commuter groups such as staggering office timings, demolishing abandoned structures that block people, among others.
According to the audit, outsourcing personnel to manage crowd can help tackle the situation better during peak hours. The team wants the limit for permissible free luggage — 50kg for first class and 35kg for second class — be reduced to 15kg and 10kg, respectively.
The railway officials plan to meet civic and police officials every month to discuss the action being taken on the suggestions made in the audit report.
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