The Mumbai railways system is the busiest in the world. It is called Mumbai’s lifeline–a small disruption can create havoc, throwing not just train services but also the city itself out of gear. A staggering 7.5 million passengers travel every day, most of them from the commercial areas of the south to the growing suburbs in the north. But, getting into the trains is not an easy task. All of them take a huge risk everyday to board the train. The way the trains are crowded and people are hanging, any accident is shocking but not uncalled for.
Take a moment and think, What will happen if u reach late to work one day? What is the most that can happen if u miss a meeting one day? Your boss would scold you? You would lose out on a client? You miss your deadline? You reach college late? You lose attendance for a day? Imagine the worst scenario possible and compare it to the possibility of losing your life or being handicapped for the rest of your life.
Imagine, what it would do to your family and your loved ones. Scary, isn’t it?
Yet, you would think people do not care about their life at all when you look at the video posted.
This video is of 6:12 Virar Andheri local train and it is really sad how people, in their rush to board first put their as well as other passengers’ lives at risk. What makes it worse is that it is an everyday affair and the deaths and accidents have become a sort of the price for this fast, busiest train network.
In November, last year a video of 21 year -old Bhavesh Laxman Nakhate falling off from a speeding train had gone viral and shocked the city. Yet, no one learnt a lesson. Nine people die on the Mumbai local train tracks every day, according to an IndiaSpend analysis of data from Government Railway Police, Maharashtra. Kalyan has been the most deadly region; it has registered the most accidents each year since 2013, the data further reveal. In 2012 (the year from which the data are fully available), Kurla topped the list. In November, last year a video of 21 year -old Bhavesh Laxman Nakhate falling off from a speeding train had gone viral and shocked the city.
The deaths are due to several reasons like overcrowding, crossing of tracks (what is termed as trespassing), falling in the gaps on platforms while boarding, roof-top travel by daredevils, leading to accidents and electrocution and hitting the electric poles due to hanging out. Most of the passengers fall or slip from the running trains when they struggle to get into a coach and fail to enter it or get dashed against a pole near the railway track.
Rail traffic has increased six fold in the past 40 years, but capacity has only doubled. Meanwhile the city’s population, estimated at 20 million, has soared. It is twice as dense as New York. It is so difficult to build new railway lines in such a densely occupied space that one of the few ways of increasing capacity is to add carriages and run trains faster. The alternative to local is cars and cabs which is not only time consuming but very difficult in times like heavy rains with the current infrastructure.
The property prices are sky rocketing in southern and western part of the city. To find a reasonable house, people prefer the northern part and commute daily in the over filled, overcrowded local trains.
Metros haven’t helped much, because they don’t run in major areas. Mumbai is said to be a fast city. Everything is fast paced. It doesn’t stop for anything or anyone. It has become a habit for Mumbaikars. But, maybe, its time the people of Mumbai stop to see the cost they are paying for this fast paced life.