With the growing number of human tragedies happening on railway platforms, it is time for people to collectively demand installation of innovative screen doors to enhance safety standards on all Metro and railway platforms in our country.
Urban transportation is gaining importance in our country, with a number of cities going for Metro Rail or Mono Rail projects, which have become a necessity with the rising population and inadequate surface transportation prevailing at present. With the growing popularity of Metro rail in Kolkata and Delhi, similar metro rail projects are in progress in cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Mumbai, Kolkata where they are expected to be operational within the next couple of years.
But the most important aspect of passenger safety appears to have not been fully taken into account by these projects, whether already operational or under implementation. This is evident from the media reports flowing every now and then about the human tragedies taking place in Metro stations, creating a feeling of insecurity in the new way of life proposed for the urban dwellers through the Metro rail system being put in place.
Planners of Metro rail systems in India have not thought of these safety measures, even after several deaths occurring on the platform tracks, which could be easily avoided through these safety doors. The fact that installing these doors will increase the project cost is no reason for compromising on the safety of passengers, which should take precedence over everything else in the interest of saving human lives at least in new projects coming up in Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad and expansion projects planned in Delhi and Kolkata. Even in existing stations in Delhi and Kolkata, immediate steps should have been taken to gradually provide these platform screen doors so that the entire network will have this safety doors within a stipulated time frame.