To avoid a tragedy like the Elphinstone Road stampede, which claimed 23 lives, Western Railway (WR) has roped in personnel of Maharashtra State Security Corporation (MSSC) and woman home guards for crowd management at suburban stations.
As many as 232 MSSC personnel and 97 woman home guards were today inducted into WR’s Mumbai Central Division for crowd management, safety, security of passengers, a senior official said.
According to the official, a high-level committee constituted to inquire into the Elphinstone Road station tragedy suggested for augmentation of Railway Protection Force (RPF) cadres in suburban rail network.
“Subsequently, the railway administration gave a nod to outsource the work to MSSC and woman home guards,” he added.
WR General Manager AK Gupta told reporters that the personnel, who were inducted after being given basic training, will be deployed at various suburban stations.
“The area of platform is limited, so there was need to ensure systematic movement of passengers. For which, we needed some personnel at the platform to guide and regulate commuters. The MSSC has given their 232 personnel for the job” he said.
“Besides these, we have inducted 97 woman home guards to enhancing the security of women commuters,” he said.
“They will be deployed to provide quick assistance to female commuters in distress, besides managing crowd,” Mr Gupta added.
The General Manager said they would work in coordination with the RPF.
“As of now they have been inducted for six months. If the initiative helps in curbing untoward incidents, we will extend it. Our main aim is to keep trains and platforms secured,” Mr Gupta said.
On September 29, 23 people were killed in a stampede that occurred on a foot-over-bridge linking suburban Elphinstone Road and Parel stations.