mid-day editorial: Mind the gap, it's a death trap
It is mind the gap time for Mumbai again after a spate of accidents, near misses and huge tragedies, thanks to people putting life and limb at risk trying to board and alight moving trains.
On Monday, a 53-year-old man from Bhusaval alighted from a train at Kalyan railway station to get water. The train started moving and he tried to board it, but slipped in the gap instead. He was declared dead. On Sunday, two sisters from Solapur who were in Mumbai for GRP recruitment exams, were trying to board the Chennai Express from Dadar. One sister boarded the train but panicked when she saw her sibling could not get on. Overwrought, she actually foolishly jumped from a moving train. She was saved from falling into the gap after the railway police pulled her away. On Saturday, a doctor tried to make a quick exit from the moving train he was traveling in, but died after he got pulled into the gap between the train and the platform at the Panvel railway station. He lost his balance, fell on the platform and got sucked into the gap.
These incidents have proven that rash actions and undue haste trying to board and alight from trains can cost you your life. Even after so much awareness, it is unfortunate that people make light of boarding and alighting moving trains. We tend to misjudge the speed of the train, the crowds in the compartment or on the platform. When the train is moving, even a one-second delay or obstruction can prove to be fatal. Do not underestimate the gap between the platform and the train, too.
Announcements are regularly made but maybe, a short film or two at stations on dangers of crossing tracks, alighting from trains, rooftop travel will be more efficacious in hammering home the message.
But we cannot overemphasize the message: Mind the gap.