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EVERY DAY, 11 FALL OFF LOCAL TRAINS

Death on the railway tracks seems to be a way of life in Mumbai. Despite various initiatives taken by railway officials to improve the design of coaches and make them more comfortable, Mumbaikars continue to travel like animals in local trains. Figures obtained from the railway police show that on an average, at least 11 instances of people falling off local trains were recorded daily since 2006, on both the Central and Western Railway. While deaths due to people crossing the tracks and accidents caused by hitting against poles can be attributed to commuter negligence, people falling in the gaps between trains and platforms or falling off coaches point to infrastructural deficiencies. Trains do not even stop on the platform that commuters jump on it. Statistics show that there were 3,513 instances of people falling off trains in 2005; this was followed by 4,133 in 2006; 4,307 in 2007 and 2,976 in 2008 that is till October 20. And surprisingly a local train has a capacity of only 1500 passengers but our local trains are burdened with over 4,500 people. While both the Central and Western railways are trying to increase the number of trains, it just cannot match up with the rapid increasing population of the city. And while the railway officials are still battling for a solution to this problem, Mumbaikars still continue to battle for their seats on local trains. With cameraperson Jai Dutta, Ajaz Khan for NMTV News.

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