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New Delhi : The Railway Board on October 11, 2017, decided to constitute a high level expert committee to inquire into the reasons for delay in inviting tender for Elphinstone Road Railway Station Foot Overbridge (FOB), Mumbai, and suggest ways  to ensure that such delays can be minimised in future. The issue of Notice Inviting Tender (NIT) for Elphinstone Road Station FOB had taken about 18 months.

This committee would be headed by Pratyush Sinha (Retd Chief Vigilance Commissioner) with Vinayak Chatterjee, Chairman CII Economic Affairs council, and Subodh Jain, (Retd Member Engineering, Railway Board) as  Members and current Director Safety, Railway Board, Pankaj Kumar as Member Secretary, according to a PIB release.

A committee comprising five Senior Administrative Grade Officers (Joint Secretary level) headed by Chief Safety Officer, Western Railways was formed to inquire into the incident of stampede on north end FOB of Elphinstone Road Station on Mumbai Central – Dadar suburban section on September 29, 2017.

The inquiry committee issued public notice inviting members of public having knowledge relating to the incident and any matter connected therewith and desiring to give evidence. The committee examined all the matters pertaining to the incident including the evidence from the witnesses, the written statement of injured persons, Railway officials of Elphinstone road station and analysis of footages of all the CCTV cameras installed at the station including those located on the FOB, according to the PIB release.
The Committee concluded that the incident occurred due to sudden downpour of heavy rains and accumulation of commuters on FOB and staircase at around 10 am onwards on that date. The situation got further aggravated when one bundle of flowers of a vendor dropped followed by someone shouting that “Majha phool padla” and some commuters mistook the word “phool” for “pull”. This may have possibly triggered panic and led to stampede, the committee opined. The committee also recommended certain short term and long term measures for Mumbai Suburban stations. 

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