Local trains in Mumbai - A daily death trap?
There used to be a time, not too long ago, when the local trains of Mumbai, or
Bombay as it was called back then, had acquired a cult status, thanks to them
being made popular thanks to Indian cinema, or “Bollywood” as it’s
affectionately called. Today however, there is nothing so pleasurable or
enjoyable in traveling by them, in today’s world of over population, they have
become daily journeys of hell every commuter must undertake to reach one’s
workplace and earn one’s livelihood.<br><br>
The Western and Central Zone are 2 of the main zones of the Indian Railways,
who also provide for the Suburban train system, or more formally called the
Mumbai Suburban Railway. More than 6.1 million passengers are carried by the
system on a daily basis.
The current problem of over-crowding is so grave, and the pressure on the
infrastructure and facilities so high that 4,700 passengers are packed into a
9-car rake during peak hours, as against the rated carrying capacity of 1,700.
It is now not uncommon to see 14 to 16 standing passengers per square meter of
floor space, causing what is called “Super dense crush
There are approximately 3,500 deaths on the Mumbai suburban railway track on a
yearly basis due to over crowding. Many of these deaths are caused to people
who attempt to cross the railway tracks on foot, and avoid taking the over head
bridges that are provided for their use, hence, they get hit by the trains.
Some passengers die when they sit on the compartments and are electrocuted by
the overhead electric wires.<br><br>
One can clearly make out from the stress that every single passenger has to
undergo on a railway journey, that traveling by train is not an experience that
anyone in particular looks forward to. Yet it is unavoidable as the railways
are the backbone of the transportation system in this city.
There are clear signs in the local trains that request the passengers not to
hang from the gateways of the compartments, as this might be fatal to their
lives, which it indeed is, yet the eyes of the citizens of this city have grown
accustomed to seeing countless people dangling out of these very doors, simply
because there is not enough place to sit or stand inside these compartments!
The incomplete repair conditions of the railway tracks also doesnt help, and
causes only furthur delays, which results in an even greater passenger load on
It is also easily noticable tha the time for the up hauling of public
transportation of a service as important as our local trains has passed us by a
long time ago, however, still Mumbaikars (the term used for citizens of Mumbai)
live in a constant fear of either being trampled in a stampede, or being blown
to bits in a bomb explosion as a result of a terrorist act.<br><br>
It’s time for the government and the concerned ministries to stop making
excuses, to stop asking us, the highest tax-paying city in the country, to
wait, and to provide us with the most basic of amenities, a proper railway
system that has been suitably redeveloped to cope with the additional needs now
demanded from it. It’s time for the financial capital of this country to start
receiving its due share of returns. <br><br>
sorry about the pictures of the people being so shaky, I couldn’t help it as
the crowd was simply too much, you can see how crowded these trains are by
looking them on Google image search and merely typing local trains Mumbai.
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