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Metro stations still hotspot for suicides

Metro stations still hotspot for suicides
In an effort to prevent suicide attempts at the elevated and underground Metro stations, Delhi Metro had planned to raise the height of the platform boundaries by putting railings. This was scheduled to start a month ago.

But looks like this is yet another empty promise mostly. When Millennium Post visited various elevated metro stations, in most stations there were neither no railings, nor any work towards providing railing was being undertaken.

 The DMRC officials have increased the height in three Metro stations - Nirman Vihar, Akshardham and Laxmi Nagar.

Despite the increased security at the elevated and underground Metro stations, the suicide  cases have not decreased.  Recently the incident of Preet Vihar suicide case that increased the cases to 24 this year is a perfect example.  The officials have put up railings at some platforms of certain stations which sees the maximum passenger footfall.

‘The important stations like Rajiv Chowk, Pragati Maidan and Kashmere Gate have been provided with railings on the platforms to avoid rush while getting in and out of the trains,’ said a metro official. This is essentially like an iron barrier on the edge of the platform whichwould prevent passengers from jumping onto the tracks.

‘All the stations should be provided with railings, be it underground or elevated. Central Secretariat is one such important station where no railings have been provided on the platforms,’ said Meenal Patel, a student.

‘Cameras have also been installed on platforms to keep an eye on the passengers,’ said a DMRC official. They are worried about this suicide trend, but admit that they can’t do much in a system that sees nearly 20 lakh passengers every day.

‘We plan to provide the railings in 47 more stations both underground and elevated across the network,’ an official said.

There are 139 Metro stations (both underground and elevated) on the Delhi Metro network.

‘We had decided to increase the platform railings, as in most of the suicide attempts, we have seen, people tend to jump from the edge of the elevated platform railings, which are 20 to 25 feet above the ground level or jump in front of the approaching trains in the stations,’ said the official.

When contacted to Anuj Dayal, spokesperson of DMRC, the calls went unanswered. The Delhi Metro normally makes over 2,700 trips a day, covering about 70,000 km and carrying around 1.8 million passengers on week days.

Various efforts may be on, but authorities say, because of a possible copycat suicide syndrome, it is going to be difficult to curb the menace.
Puja Banerjee

Puja Banerjee

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