Bombay HC directs railways to consider Churchgate to Central line

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed both the central and western railway authorities to consider introducing a railway line from Churchgate to Central suburbs like Thane, Dombivli and Ambernath. The court has also called upon the Municipal Commissioner and Commissioner of Police along with other railway authorities to discuss and find probable solutions to the problems faced by commuters.

The direction came from a division bench of Justice Vidyasagar Kanade and Justice Nutan Sardesai while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) raising concerns about the poor conditions of railways. The petition also highlights the high number of deaths due to accidents while crossing tracks.

“We are informed that many a people who work near Churchgate find it difficult to reach Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) station to board their trains. Just like there are trains from CST to Andheri, why can’t we have a line from Churchgate to Central suburbs? Examine this and file a reply in the next hearing,” the bench said.

Meanwhile the petitioner’s advocate furnished statistical data indicating a drastic decline in the overall number of deaths in railway accidents. The railways attributed this success of lesser death to fencing of tracks, construction of compound walls and spreading awareness. The data however, revealed that there has been a rise in deaths due to electrocution.

The bench was shocked by the deaths due to electrocution. “We are scared to see the rise in deaths due to electrocution. We know the primary reason for these deaths is because many commuters choose to travel via roof tops and the railways must work harder to prevent this.”

The bench recorded that the railways are complying with its previous orders. The bench further added, “There are several issues to deal with and that is why we are of the view that a meeting be called of all the concerned officials for better coordination.”

“We direct the Municipal Commissioner, the Commissioner of Mumbai Police, the Commissioner of Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), the Chief Engineer of City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), the Metropolitan Magistrate of Railways and other concerned authorities to remain present on December 8,” the bench added.

The bench however, granted liberty to exempt the Municipal, Police and MHADA commissioners and instead send their representatives.

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