BMRCL suicide: Screen doors could be the answer

BANGALORE: A day after Vishnu Sharan jumped to death at MG Road Metro Station, a deadly silence lurks around the station. Experts have lashed out at the BMRCL for not installing platform scree

Published: 07th March 2012 02:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:30 PM   |  A+A-

BANGALORE: A day after Vishnu Sharan jumped to death at MG Road Metro Station, a deadly silence lurks around the station. Experts have lashed out at the BMRCL for not installing platform screen doors, that have helped prevent such incidents at Metros across the world. The Commissioner of Railway Safety had earlier insisted that the BMRCL should install platform screen doors (PSD) at all the stations to avoid such incidents.

However, the authorities had argued there would be platform guards round the clock at all the stations in the city and had turned a deaf ear to the suggestion.

Claiming they were considering all safety measures following this incident, BMRCL has argued that there was no flaw with their mechanism.

“We have followed all the international safety practices at the Bangalore Metro. We will now look at what more precautions can be taken,” said Yashwanth Chavan, chief spokesperson, BMRCL.

Many major Metros across the world like Beijing subway, Paris Metro, Fukuoka City subway in Japan, Tokyo Metro and Monorail, Sentosa Express in Singapore, Taipei Metro in Taiwan have installed PSDs.

“For a project on which they are spending Rs 1,300 crore, wouldn’t it matter if they spent an additional Rs 33 crore to install PSDs. We have been regularly insisting the BMRCL to install this system, but no action is taken so far. Even the CRS for South Western Railways had suggested that Bangalore Metro should have PSDs,” said M N Sreehari, advisor to government on Infrastructure, Traffic and Transport.

Meanwhile, other town planning experts have explained why there is an immediate need for PSDs. “The best way to prevent suicides and accidents at Metro stations is to install this barricading system. The doors of the platform screens open in synchronization with the doors of the train. This way no one can have access to the track. It is not possible to closely watch every passenger who enters and exits a platform, but by installing this, the problem would be solved,” said Ashwin Mahesh, ABIDe member.

Further, experts had earlier too raised serious questions about the third rail system upon which the Bangalore Metro rail operates. “The power line goes between the tracks on either sides, which means, anyone who falls on the track would be immediately electrocuted,” said Sreehari.

Arguing against this, Metro authorities said there was an emergency switch at the station, which would cut the power supply to the track, in case of emergency.

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