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Foot overbridge, CCTVs made mandatory: Rlys

MUMBAI: Friday's deadly stampede that killed 23 people in Mumbai, has spurred the government into action. Hours later, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal ordered officials to cut the red tape and start working on shorter deadlines. The minister also told them to identify critical locations prone to similar tragedies. This also means that the safety audit shouldn't just look at the structural stability of the bridges but also assess if it was enough for the number of passengers that it catered to.
To push development, the Railways has decided to delegate financial and administrative powers to field units by October 2017.
At a top-level meeting, which was held in Mumbai on Saturday, the minister has decided to amend the 150-year-old convention to deem construction of foot-over-bridges (FoBs) mandatory at railway stations, instead of treating it as a 'passenger amenity'. With this, now all FoBs, platforms and pathways on platform end to be treated as safety items having highest priority with no budgetary restrictions.
For next 18 months, General Managers of Railway zones have been delegated powers without limit for safety related issues. They shall intimate the Financial Commissioner (FC) within a week of sanction for provision, and FC shall confirm the same within 15 days. In case of disagreement, the matter shall be put up to the Railway Board for final decision within the same 15 days," a senior official said.
At the meeting, it has been also decided to install additional escalators that have been already sanctioned at stations of the Mumbai Suburban system having high footfall with the details within 15 days. A similar exercise would also be carried out for all high-use stations across the country.
To strengthen ground operations and project implementation, the Railways has decided to relocate 200 officers from headquarters. "Two hundred officers to be relocated from headquarters as field staff to better project implementation. Within the next 15 months, CCTV cameras in all suburban trains in Mumbai with monitoring mechanism would be installed," Goyal said in his tweet.
At the meeting, which was attended by Chairman Railways Board Ashwani Lohani, the minister has asked his officials to clear all railways-related issues pending with state agencies within a week.
Meanwhile, the death toll in the stampede on a foot overbridge (FOB) linking two railways stations here has gone up to 23 with a critically injured person succumbing at the KEM hospital on Saturday.
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