19 deaths in 5 years at Agra railway station; security audit demand gets louder

  • | Friday | 8th December, 2023

AGRA: At least 19 people died in accidents on the platform of the Raja Mandi railway station in Agra between 2019 and 2023, according to a Right to Information (RTI) reply. Senior advocate KC Jain, who filed the RTI plea, has written to Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav, drawing his attention to the "higher number of deaths in the past five years". Recently, a 60-year-old prominent city doctor, Lakhan Singh, died after falling under a moving train while trying to alight at the Raja Ki Mandi railway station after seeing off his daughter. Jain, in his letter, stated that measures should be taken to avoid such accidents in the future. He said these deaths in the tourist city of international renown send a wrong message. Last year, people protested against a railway notice served to the Chamunda Devi temple, a portion of which encroaches a platform on the Raja Ki Mandi station. Following this, the divisional railway manager said that the department will consider closing down the station for passengers. "Six deaths were reported at the station in 2019, three in 2020, four in 2022 and six again in 2023. The railway minister has been requested to constitute a high-level committee to conduct a safety audit of Raja Ki Mandi railway station. This may highlight technical lapses on the platform and how they can be resolved. This should be in public domain so that effective measures can be taken," said Jain On April 20, 2022, a notice was served to the head priest of Chamunda Devi Temple on the platform at Raja Ki Mandi railway station and 10 days time was granted to shift the temple. According to railway authorities, because of the temple, the gap between the footrest of the train and the platform increases which is not safe for passengers. Besides, this sharp curve also hampers the speed of the trains. The speed of the train needs to move at 120 km/per hour but has to be reduced to 70km/per hour to negotiate the curve safely. On April 29, 2022, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal activists recited the Hanuman Chalisa at the DRM office. They opposed any move to shift the Chamunda Devi temple from the platform of the railway station.

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