In view of the rush during and around Durga Puja, Eid, Diwali and Chhat, the Railways have taken special care to prevent stampede-like situation on platforms this festival season. A special strategy for crowd management has been chalked out by the officials.
To avoid over crowding, special trains started by Northern Railway have been distributed at the five major stations in Delhi – New Delhi, Delhi Junction, Hazrat Nizamuddin, Anand Vihar and Delhi Sarai Rohila.
Platform for all the trains, including special ones, have been fixed during the entire festival rush period and any change will be done only in case of extreme emergency, the officials said. Apart from this, 62 special trains have been pressed into service to clear the extra festival rush.
“Crowd management has always been a challenge for us. We can not afford to take it lightly because of the human cost involved in case of a stampede. So we have made adequate arrangements this time, taking care of every aspect of crowd management from ensuring timely placement of rakes on platforms before departure, to fixing the platform for all the trains,” said one railway official.
All the rakes, including those of special trains, will be placed on platforms at least 30 minutes before the scheduled departure. Frequent announcements will be made through public address system regarding crowd management at the platforms. At New Delhi railway station, additional loudspeakers have been provided to extend the announcement system to circulating areas in Paharganj and Ajmeri Gate side.
New waiting hall
A new waiting hall for passengers has also been opened at platform no. 1 of the New Delhi station. In order to reduce the crowd at the entry area of the Ajmeri Gate side of New Delhi railway station, the booking office has been shifted towards the left. Further the baggage scanners have been shifted towards the staircase to reduce the long queue which used to be witnessed earlier in the open.
Besides this, additional reservation counters have been established at all the major stations. First aid posts have also been set up at all the stations with one doctor each.
“Senior officers have specifically been nominated by the higher officials to remain available at major stations during the peak rush of Diwali to Chhat. We will also continue to monitor the train enquiry and the announcement systems,” the official said, adding that the crowd management action plan has been issued to all the railway stations with strict instructions.