Mumbai pre-monsoon preparedness: Chequered support poles in trains to stop commuters falling off

Mumbai: The Western Railway (WR) has responded to the complaints of local train commuters to provide better grip to the poles in every train compartment. The WR will now replace the support poles at the entrance of local trains with chequered holders for better grip. This initiative comes after WR had received several complaints regarding commuters falling from train as the the poles gets drenched and slippery in rain.

A senior railway official said the risk of slipping from the train during monsoon is always higher as commuters stand at the gate taking support of the centre rod. “We are replacing the regular centre rod with chequered ones that has better grip. It will be put in all the coaches,” said a WR official. These rods are presently seen in the newer lot of the Bombardier trains.

According to the statistics, last year nearly WR reported 654 deaths of commuters who died falling from a moving train on both CR and WR. “There is a need of covering the centre rod with chequered holders as slipping and falling from a moving train is one of the major causes of injuries and deaths of rail passengers. People are unable to to hold onto the centre rod in the rains,” said an official.

Moreover, WR has also planned to replace the existing polycarbonate seats by the stainless steel seats which will cost them of Rs 45 crore. The zonal railway division has been receiving multiple complaints about the polycarbonate seats breaking frequently. “The decision to bring in stainless steel seating has already gotten official approval. The work is expected to cost around Rs 45-48 crore,” said Ravinder Bhakar, chief spokesperson of WR. WR official said that “We have a fleet of about 100 suburban locals fitted with polycarbonate seats. Each stainless steel seat is expected to cost around Rs15,000.”

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