Western Railway has taken several measures to control the menace of trespassing over WR’s Mumbai suburban section. Western Railway has worked on mission mode to tackle this problem by adopting multi pronged initiatives and is still continuing its efforts to wipe out this major problem majorly affecting the Mumbai’s suburban section.
- According to a press release issued by Shri Sumit Thakur – Chief Public Relations Officer of Western Railway, to curb the menace of trespassing, Western Railway has adopted the initiative of ‘Zero Death Mission’.
- The goal of this initiative is to effectively deal with the problem of trespassing and to minimise the casualties due to it mainly in Mumbai’s suburban section. In this direction, various initiatives have been taken by Western Railway.
- To ease passenger flow at stations and to avoid trespassing, 13 Foot over Bridges commissioned in Mumbai suburban section during the year 2022-23, taking the total number to 146. Similarly during this period, 18 Escalators and 15 Lifts have been commissioned, taking the total to 104 escalators & 49 Lifts.
Image Credit: Western Railway
- The platform heights have been raised to reduce the gap between platform height and the coach doors. This will enable passengers to board and alight from trains safely. Divider-fencing of sufficient height has been provided between two tracks in the station area to avoid persons crossing from one platform to another across the tracks.
- These fencing are even continued beyond platforms at identified locations where trespassing is noticed at the end of platforms. In addition to this, in the recent past 8.69 km of Boundary wall has been constructed in the Mumbai suburban section. 21 boundary wall gaps have been plugged in the year 2022 – 23.
- Warning Boards have been placed at the end of platforms, death prone locations to caution the trespassers. Also, regular announcements are made by RPF personnel at stations through megaphones to create awareness regarding the perils of trespassing.
- In order to meet medical emergencies, round the clock Ambulance facility is available at all suburban stations. Similarly, to render first aid and ensure medical assistance within the golden hour, Emergency Medical Rooms are also opened at all stations over the Mumbai suburban section.
- Another major cause of trespassing are the encroachments along the railway tracks. Drives for encroachment removal are regularly being carried out. During the period from 2022-23, more than 1400 encroachments were removed from various locations.
- Recently, warning boards have been placed in front of slums along the railway tracks to prevent people from crossing railway tracks.
- Shri Thakur stated that several public awareness campaigns have been done such as appeals to commuters by roping-in celebrities, running campaigns in collaboration with NGOs, etc.
- Also, awareness messages are relayed through Announcements at stations, SMSes, TV channels, Radio Channels, Cinema Halls, Social media platforms, etc. It is noteworthy to mention that WR has roped in celebrities such as Bharat Ratna Shri Sachin Tendulkar, John Abraham, Jackie Shroff etc. to deliver messages to people requesting safe travel, as they have a mass following.
- In addition to these, WR’s RPF department has also come up with a unique anti trespassing campaign named “Mission YAMRAJ‟. This campaign aims to instil a strong psychological impact among trespassers. In this campaign, RPF/MSF staff dressed like “YAMRAJ” catch hold of trespassers and counsel them.
- This campaign has been widely appreciated by media and public alike and has proved to be a game changer in making people aware of the perils of trespassing. Intensive awareness campaigns are also conducted in stations, schools, vulnerable locations and in slums against crossing railway tracks, at regular intervals.
- Also, regular drives against the menace of trespassing are being done and the apprehended are prosecuted & penalised for trespassing. In the year 2022-23, 6600 persons were prosecuted and fines of over Rs. 14.54 lakhs were realised.
- Shri Thakur stated that all efforts are being taken by Western Railway to reduce the deaths and to move towards “MISSION ZERO DEATH”. Western Railway once again urges its valued customers to care for their precious life and not to trespass railway tracks. Always use FOB, Subway, Escalators & Lifts to crossover and change platforms.
Source: Western Railway- Press Release | Featured Image Credit (representational): MRVC