FPJ Campaign: Door-blocking should be treated as endangering to the passenger safety

FPJ Campaign: Door-blocking should be treated as endangering to the passenger safety

Passengers and former officials say the act should be made a punishable offence; unless sent to jail habitual offenders won’t learn.

Kamal MishraUpdated: Sunday, April 23, 2023, 09:12 AM IST
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FPJ Campaign: Door-blocking should be treated as endangering to the passenger safety | VGP

City commuters, transport experts and former railway officials want cases of door-blocking of local trains to be treated as an offence for endangering the safety of citizens.

Former assistant security commissioner of the Indian Railways, AK Sharma said train bullies who don’t allow commuters to either board or alight should be prosecuted under section 156 of the Railway Act, which is punishable with imprisonment for up to one year. Sharma said most offenders are from the lower middle-class income groups and are uneducated. During his tenure with the railways, he said several habitual offenders were prosecuted several times.

Today is the last of the five-part series on train door-blocking. The previous FPJ reports can be accessed on freepressjournal.in. This newspaper has dealt with the menace in detail with first-hand experiences of commuters.

Besides Sharma, retired teacher Sunil Shinde also felt that habitual offenders who don’t get prosecuted feel encouraged to continue troubling citizens. “Last week, a Kurla local train from CSMT was cancelled and I had to board a Kalyan train but couldn’t get down at Parel. I was forced to travel up to the next station because the door was completely blocked by some people,” recalled Shinde.

Take strict action against bullies

Passenger activist Samir Zaveri also wants strict action against train bullies. “Resisting entry of passengers should be punishable. These people need to be sent to jail to curb such unlawful activities. The railway authority should start a special drive during peak hours to catch them red-handed,” he said.

Here, though, some of the door blockers have a different story to tell. “There is a 25% chance that I will die if I travel on the footboard. But if I go inside the coach, I am 100% sure that I will die of suffocation,” said one footboard traveller. Another door blocker in a Kasara-bound local on Saturday said, “Standing at the door is much better than getting crushed by other passengers in jam-packed coaches.” When confronted with the problem it causes other commuters, he said he wants “fresh air after a hectic day of work”.

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