Elphinstone stampede stirs Indian Railways and state govt. into action


"We are turning a 150 year old convention on its head, hereafter, FOBs (Foot Over Bridges) will be deemed mandatory not a passenger amenity", Goyal said in a Tweet.

Tragedy has occurred during morning rush-hour at a major railway station in Mumbai.

Official figures say some 3,400 people died in 2016 either from falling off the trains or while crossing the tracks of what is the world's most overcrowded suburban rail network. "It is not the first time that it rained in Mumbai", he said.

For the next 18 months, the General Managers of all Railway Zones have been vested with unlimited powers for safety related issues, Goyal said.

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Hundreds of social media users angered by the event questioned the government's priorities, targeting Modi's ambitious $17-billion plan for a bullet train to link Mumbai with Ahmedabad in neighbouring Gujarat state.

A PIL has been filed in the Bombay High Court seeking that railway officials be booked for negligence and culpable homicide in connection with the stampede at the Elphinstone Road railway station in which 22 people were killed.

An official said, "Two trains arrived at the same time during peak hours at both stations".

Soon after, Mr Prabhu sanctioned roughly 95 million rupees (Dh5.3m) in his railways budget to build a new 40 foot-wide bridge connecting the Parel and Elphinstone stations. "It's a shame that while on one hand railways can not manage safety on its FOBs, it wants to start Bullet Trains from Mumbai", said Nirupam who visited the Elphinstone station on Saturday morning for a condolence meet.

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Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had expressed sadness over the Mumbai stampede, assuring that a strict action will be taken against the culprits.

"The minister has taken yesterday's incident very seriously and this is why he has convened a full board meeting today once again", the official said.

"13 FOBs in Western Railway approved for widening and 10 new FOBs approved". Piyush Goyal was at the BMC-run KEM Hospital, where the bodies of the deceased who were killed in the tragedy were brought along with the injured who were brought there for treatment.

"Shelar said the minister has taken some bold decisions".

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