Central Railway cracks down on footboard travel

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The Central Railway (CR) has begun to catch commuters travel on the footboards in empty trains during non-peak hours. The Railway Police Force (RPF) has caught around 15 people in the drive, which was started last week.
A team of five officers has been initially deployed across the CR for the same and found most of these commuters at Dombivali, Kurla, Govandi and Mankhurd. Officials said it is difficult to catch people travelling on the footboards during peak-hours due to the massive rush, hence those who break the rule during the non-peak hours will be held. “We have caught around 15 persons until now and until now we have only five officers who are roaming in plain clothes and trying to catch those who are unnecessarily putting their life in danger,” said CR RPF divisional railway officer Sachin Bhalode.
This comes after the railway budget saw no new services being announced on CR as well as its counterpart Western Railway (WR). Introducing new services has been the conventional tool to decrease rush in trains.
Mr Bhalode said the drive would be made even more intense in the days to come. “We will intensify the drive in this month but we must keep in mind that we have to be very careful about the commuters’ safety, while he/she is travelling on the footboard because we don’t want them to panic and loose grip,” he added.
Senior CR officials said the point of this exercise would not only be to avoid these accidents but also build a case against commuters with proof. “We will try to get photos and videos of commuters who indulge in these kind of activities. We then plan to lodge a complaint against them for the same and bring to light that other than the peak hour crunch where the commuters are forced to travel on the footboard most of them take unnecessary risks,” said a senior official on the condition of anonymity.
According to the Government Railway Police’s (GRP) statistics, there were 806 deaths due to people falling off the train in 2015, the highest number being seen at Kurla with 103 deaths and Vasai with 66 deaths.


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