Elphinstone Stampede was Avoidable, Only If Govt Had Listened to Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar has been often called passive at best, and rarely stood to ask a question in the Rajya Sabha. However, if the government had heeded his call, lives of 22 people - who died in the stampede on the footover bridge at Mumbai's Elphinstone railway station - might have been saved.
Mumbai: A view of the Elphinstone railway station's foot over bridge where a stampede took place, in Mumbai on Friday. (Image: PTI)
New Delhi: Sachin Tendulkar, the Rajya Sabha MP, has been at the receiving end of politicians' anger for his poor attendance in the upper house of the Parliament.
He has been often called passive at best, and rarely stood to ask a question in the Rajya Sabha. However, if the government had heeded his call, lives of 22 people - who died in the stampede on the footover bridge at Mumbai's Elphinstone road station - might have been saved.
In 2016, Sachin Tendulkar had asked the railway ministry if it had identified high-density railway stations with just a single bridge and if it was planning to construct additional bridges to accommodate more people during peak hours.
In August the same year, Minister of State Railways, responded to Tendulkar's question, saying the provision of five new footover bridges, one each at Bhayandar, Elphinstone Road, Kandiwali, Khar Road and Virar railway stations on Western Railway had been sanctioned.
More than a year later, on Friday, the then MoS' words had merely proved to be a rhetoric, with no action taken on the poor state of the narrow footover bridge.
Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant had also repeatedly requested for the overhauling of the same bridge. Former Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu had sanctioned an amount of Rs 11.86 crore under Passenger Amenities to upgrade the Elphinstone Road station, but the work hadn't begun.
A large number of people gathered on this footover bridge on Friday morning when heavy rains lashed the area. According to Railway PRO, a person slipped and chaos ensued, leading to a stampede, killing 22 people and injuring scores of others.
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