Workers repair the tracks after a suburban Local train derailed in Mumbai. (Source: PTI)

Eight People Died Every Day On Mumbai’s Suburban Railway In 2017–And That’s The Good News

Eight people died every day on Mumbai’s railway tracks in 2017, down 20 percent from 10 deaths every day in 2013, data from Government Railway Police (GRP), Mumbai, show.

About eight million passengers–more than the population of Hyderabad–travel on the Mumbai rail network every week day on 2,800 services with the highest passenger density in the world.

A woman was killed after being hit by a train at Mumbai’s Bandra station on July 19, 2018, while trying to cross the tracks with her two kids who were injured, Times of India reported on July 19, 2018.

In another incident, a 50-year old banker died after she slipped into the gap between the train and a platform at Borivali station, First Post reported on July 13, 2018.

Mumbai’s Elphinstone station was renamed Prabhadevi on July 19, 2018, which led to questions about renaming stations instead of focusing on the city’s crumbling rail infrastructure.

As many as 18,050 deaths were reported on Mumbai’s tracks over the last five years (till July 20, 2018). Of these, 89 percent were male and 11 percent female. Many of those who died on the tracks go untraced or unidentified each year, the data shows.

Areas on the central line seemed to be the most deadly, with Kalyan reporting most deaths (368) in 2017, followed by Kurla (331) and Thane (324).

Passenger deaths from falling off Mumbai’s trains were “very high” as coaches carried more passengers than they were meant to, said a 2016 report on suburban train services from the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, the government’s auditor.

In 2014-15, the average number of passengers per coach on Mumbai’s suburban central services was 6 percent (2,666) more than the “crush load”–double the capacity–while it was 9 percent (2,743) more than crush load on the western line services, the data show.

49,790 deaths reported nationwide on railway tracks in over three years

As many as 49,790 people died on railway tracks after being hit by trains nationwide between 2015 and 2017, according to this reply to the Lok Sabha (Parliament’s lower house) on July 18, 2018.

“Deaths on railway tracks occur due to trespassing, violating safety and cautionary instructions, avoiding over bridges, and using mobile phones and other electronic gadgets while crossing railway tracks etc,” the reply said.

In 2017, 173,112 people were prosecuted for trespassing on rail tracks.

(Mallapur is an analyst with IndiaSpend.)

This article has been published in arrangement with IndiaSpend.