Months after the Elphinstone Road station stampede of September 29, which killed 23 people, Western Railway (WR) has inducted 232 personnel of the Maharashtra State Security Corporation (MSSC) to ensure better crowd-management during peak hours on the foot-over bridge as well as the platforms. Besides the MSSC personnel, 97 lady home-guard constables will also be part of the new railway team for ensuring better security, especially for women commuters at sparsely-populated stations during non-peak hours, like early morning and late night, officials said.
The additional personnel are being roped in as a measure to control crowds, which was part of a 200-page multi-disciplinary report made by WR after the tragedy. General Manager, WR, A. K. Gupta informed that they have decided to increase the fresh induction of officials so as to lend more strength to crowd management and also security, specially for women during odd hours, based on complaints made and incidents reported.
The WR stations where crowd control will be focused upon include Churchgate, Grant Road, Charni Road, Mumbai Central, Elphinston, Dadar, Mahim, Bandra, Khar Road, Santacruz, Jogeshwari, Andheri, Goregaon, Malad, Borivali, Bhayandar, Nalasopara and Virar. The new recruits might increase, explained Mr Gupta, according to the needs of the commuters. He further added, “We currently have 995 RPF personnel on our staff in the suburban section and the addition of the 232 MSSC and 97 homeguards is still a 33 per cent increase in our security strength.”