Western Railway Implements Crowd Management After Surat Station Tragedy
The WR's proactive measures follow the unfortunate incident on November 11, where several individuals were left unconscious due to overcrowding. In an effort to mitigate such occurrences, the railway authorities have put in place meticulous arrangements to regulate the influx of passengers across platforms and foot-over bridges at these key stations.
Surat : In response to the recent tragic incident at Surat railway station, where a diamond worker lost his life due to the heavy rush and stampede, the Western Railway (WR) has initiated rigorous crowd management strategies at major railway stations including Surat, Udhna, Vadodara, and Ahmedabad. This move comes amidst the ongoing festive season rush that typically sees a significant surge in travelers.
The WR’s proactive measures follow the unfortunate incident on November 11, where several individuals were left unconscious due to overcrowding. In an effort to mitigate such occurrences, the railway authorities have put in place meticulous arrangements to regulate the influx of passengers across platforms and foot-over bridges at these key stations.
Sumit Thakur, the Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of Western Railway, highlighted the railway’s response to the surge in travel demand. This year, WR introduced an impressive 139 Festival Special Trains to various destinations, marking a remarkable 100% increase compared to last year. These additional trains are estimated to accommodate around 8 lakh extra passengers apart from the regular services.
Notably, Gujarat sees a substantial share of these festival special trains, with 59 originating from the state, including 23 from Surat and Udhna, while 31 enroute trains have halts at these stations. Senior officers at divisional and headquarter levels are closely monitoring the operation of these extra trains to ensure efficient management.
To control and regulate the swelling crowds, Western Railway has significantly augmented its staff deployment, especially at stations witnessing heavy footfalls. Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel are stationed round the clock, managing entry and exit points along with platform crowd regulation. Moreover, RPF/GRP staff are positioned at coach gates, both reserved and unreserved, across all trains.
In anticipation of early arrivals, designated holding areas furnished with basic amenities like water and sanitation facilities have been set up at Surat and Udhna stations. State government support has bolstered security arrangements around station precincts.
Various measures have been implemented to streamline passenger movement, including restricting early access to platforms by halting the sale of platform tickets, deployment of medical teams for emergencies, and systematic segregation and boarding of passengers through announcements and guidance.
Thakur emphasized the extensive efforts undertaken to disseminate information about these special trains, leveraging social media, newspapers, and station announcements. Publicity through tweets, social media posts, pamphlets, banners, and engagement with local NGOs, trade associations, unions, and community leaders aims to ensure widespread awareness.
In a final plea, Western Railway urged passengers to avoid overcrowding and advised only genuine travelers to enter station premises as per their train timings, ensuring a safer and more organized travel experience during this festive season.