The Central Railway has shown remarkable sensitivity and social responsibility by assisting grieving families in transporting the bodies of their loved ones, with a total of 1,540 cases handled over the past 39 months. Out of these cases, 1,487 bodies were booked from the Mumbai division alone, reflecting the significant role played by the railway in fulfilling this crucial humanitarian need.
"When unfortunate incidents of death occur and relatives require the transportation of the deceased across longer distances, they often turn to the railway for assistance. The cost and time constraints associated with road transportation for such distances make the railway the preferred mode of conveyance. By choosing rail transport, families can ensure a more efficient and affordable process during these challenging times," said Dr Shivraj Manaspure chief public relations officer of CR.
"To accommodate such requests, dead bodies are carried in the SLR (Second Sitting cum Luggage Rake) coach of mail express trains. These coaches, either the last or first SLR parcel-carrying coach in the train, can typically accommodate parcels weighing up to 4 tonnes. However, when a request is received to transport a dead body, the railway does not load any parcels in that particular SLR compartment, resulting in a loss of revenue equivalent to 4 tonnes of freight per compartment. This loss amounts to approximately Rs 30,000 per compartment," he said.
₹1000-1,500 charges for transporting dead bodies
Despite the financial implications, the railway places a higher value on fulfilling its social responsibility of assisting families in their time of grief. The charges levied by the railway for carrying a dead body are minimal, ranging from approximately Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 for longer distances between Mumbai and other destinations.
According to CR, during the period from 1st April 2020 until now, a total of 1,540 dead bodies have been booked by the railway. Each body was transported using one SLR compartment, incurring a cost of only Rs1,000 to Rs1,500 per case as per distance.
"This selfless act of providing affordable and timely transportation for the deceased has resulted in a substantial revenue sacrifice for the railway. With approximately 4.62 crores lost in freight revenue due to the non-loading of parcels in the SLR compartments for these cases, the railway's commitment to its social responsibility remains unwavering," said an official of CR.
"Central Railway's compassionate approach in handling these sorrowful moments for their passengers, by charging a nominal fee and sacrificing parcel revenue earnings, demonstrates the organization's commitment to serving the community and undertaking acts of humanity," he said.
Procedure to transport a dead body
Interested individuals should reach out to the Chief Parcel Booking Supervisor at least four hours before the scheduled departure of the train. Interested person can contact the supervisor at major stations such as CSMT (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus), Dadar, LTT (Lokmanya Tilak Terminus), Thane, Kalyan, or other major stations on the Central Railway network with all the necessary details related to the transportation of the deceased person's body. This includes information such as the name of the deceased person, the destination where the body needs to be transported, the contact information of the person arranging the transportation, and any other relevant details.
The Chief Parcel Booking Supervisor will guide you through the booking process and provide instructions on the documentation required, fees, and any additional formalities. Once the booking is confirmed, coordinate with the Chief Parcel Booking Supervisor to ensure that the body is delivered to the railway station in a suitable condition for transportation.
There will be fees associated with booking the dead body for transportation. The Chief Parcel Booking Supervisor will inform you about the applicable charges, and you will need to make the payment accordingly. The fees may vary depending on factors such as the distance of destination.