A heap of people on a narrow, barricaded stairway, waving and crying for help: millions watched video clips of that 30-minute Mumbai horror. Twenty-two people – including an 11-year-old boy – were trampled to death that September morning.
The stampede at Elphinstone station in the central business district last year only reinforced what’s already known about the world’s biggest suburban rail network that ferries 75 lakh people daily: it’s also one of the deadliest. Passengers hanging out of doorways of packed moving trains is a common sight. About ten commuters fall to death or are run over while crossing the tracks every day, data website IndiaSpend reported citing numbers released by the railway police.
India now plans to spend about Rs 55,000 crore in five years to build an elevated rail corridor and foot-overbridges, add trains, lay more tracks, and buy 210 air-conditioned rakes to ease life for travellers on Mumbai locals, Sanjay Singh, executive director (planning) at the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation, the implementing agency, told BloombergQuint. That’s part of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project-3A approved in December, the third leg of an ongoing plan that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley referred to in his budget speech.
Typically, more than half the funds are contributed by the World Bank with the state and central governments sharing the rest. Singh said while no decision has been taken on how to raise capital, it’s likely to follow the earlier model. Read More
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