Commuters stranded as trains overshoot

MID-DAY, 29-05-2011 10:02:27

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On May 24, at 11.27 am, people were waiting for a 12-coach Virar-bound train on Grant Road station’s platform number three. The train arrived, however, to the utter surprise of commuters it stopped only after nine coaches overshot the platform.


The train was delayed by 10 minutes, as according to railway rules, a train can’t be reversed if it overshoots the platform. Few commuters who were in the train jumped on to the tracks, while some had to get off at Mumbai Central, the next stop. Several passengers at platform number three were unable to do so.


This is not a solitary case. Many such instances of trains overshooting the platforms have emerged both, on the Central and Western railway routes. According to railway records, between April 2010 and May 2011 the Central Railway (CR) recorded eight cases of trains overshooting and the Western Railway (WR) recorded six such cases. Just in the last three months, WR and CR recorded two such cases each.


Sources in the railways say that such cases are on a rise and will increase further because motormen are not being pulled up. Railway rules allow for severe punishment including as forced retirement for motormen found guilty.


However, no such action has being taken on these cases. For instance, on January 9, 2011, WR motorman AK Shukla overshot three coaches of a train at platform number four of Jogeshwari station. This was the second instance where Shukla had overshot a train. However, sources say that no action was taken against him.


Earlier this month, on May 3, when SC Dubey, driver of the Nagpur Sewagram Express forgot to halt at Thane, the CR chose to dismiss the case as "a momentary lapse in concentration". The May 24 incident at Grant Road station, involved motorman Rajendra Singh. An investigation is being conducted. However, according to Sharat Chandrayan, Chief PRO, WR, the train overshot by only two coaches.


"We will investigate if the motorman was responsible for the train overshooting. If he is, then he will undergo counselling and action will be taken against him," said Chandrayan.

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