Stampede in Elphinstone road Mumbai
|Image Source: The Indian Express|
As a local Mumbaikar, I am really angry and sad with the unfortunate incident that happened in Elphinstone Road Mumbai today. In a stampede 22 innocent people lost their lives and more than 30 people got injured. This is completely a collective failure and I feel we must all learn our lessons from the same. The overpopulation in Mumbai is the major cause of most of the problems in Mumbai. The infrastructure is not upgraded but population is increasing day by day. Local train is the lifeline in Mumbai. The Indian Railways is the biggest employer of the world. Obviously Man-power is adequately available and resources too. What lacks is the vision and will power to accept the challenges and become pro-active in development of existing infrastructure. We can't even provide good foot-over bridges to the people, are we ready for bullet trains? Can this unemployed, uneducated, irresponsible, insensitive public who steals the TV, Taps, Mugs in the Trains really deserve 'bullet train'? Government should set their priorities right first.
When a person died of suffocation and breathing problem; instead of trying to lift him up public started running over him and in the process many people fall on each other crushing the lower layers. Neither women nor children were spared by this crowd running to save themselves after some rumors, what an unfortunate stampede. Complete waste of lives. This has never happened in Mumbai before. People died while crossing railway tracks, falling from local trains, electric shocks on the roof, suicidal stunts and so many other reasons. This is the first such incident in Mumbai where people died due to Stampede on foot-over bridge.This is an eye-opener for all of us who take 'rush hours' for granted. It's better to be delayed than dying by suffocating in the crowded trains. It's better to leave one or two local trains or start from home early (before peak hours) rather than falling from the crowded trains. Because our life belongs to our family too. Don't get trapped in this 'killing crowd' of Mumbai. Crowd has NO face. Who will you hold responsible for deaths of so many people? People who scream loudly 'Machchi ka paani' just to make way for themselves, people who do Bhajans in local train without bothering about health of Children and Senior citizens, people who tease girls and women hanging in the doors of local trains, people who travel without tickets, people who destroy public property when train gets delayed. All these people make this 'Crowd'. Whom will you hold responsible for the tragedy and sorrows of the families of these dead people? We as a Society have failed ourselves. Our Politicians are our representatives. They rise from this same 'Crowd' only, what can you expect from them? Mumbaikar pay highest taxes in the Nation but gets the worst possible treatment by Government. From Safe Drinking Water to Potless Roads we have to struggle for everything. Do we really deserve that?
Narendra Modi Government started really well in 2014. After some time Modi became Tughlaq and took some really fancy decisions like giving multiple portfolios to few ministers, demonetization, badly-implemented GST and so on. Adding Railways budget into Union Budget itself was one of such foolish decision. There were solid reasons why Railways Budget was presented separately in the past. It is one of the most important ministry as Railways is the cheapest possible transportation available for general public. It definitely needs a special attention. Suresh Prabhu tried his best to make Railways customer-centric by focusing on services but he failed in taking futuristic decisions required for the up-gradation of Railways. Government mostly depended on private players like Reliance to take control of Metro, Mono Railways etc. in Mumbai but that has only increased the fare of the travelling. Piyush Goyal is newly appointed Railways Minister. It will be wrong to blame him for today's incident. Mumbai is the financial capital of India. Politicians gets all the resources to make it a better city. Unfortunately they don't do it thanks to Corruption. Present Chief Minister of Maharashtra is happy in presenting himself as Mini-Modi. He is more interested in going to Centre which he hoped will happen in September 2017. All his recent speeches are in Hindi; not in Marathi clearly new trend for Maharashtra. He failed in all fronts - right from Debts of Farmers to development of cities. He spent his most of the time in fighting with his ally Shivsena. Devendra Fadanvis was very studious Leader and one of my favorite Politician of Maharashtra but I feel he is just a 'PaperStamp Puppet Chief Minister'. He is more interested in growth of BJP in Maharashtra than serving the Maharashtra public.
Thanks to the spirit of Mumbai that situation is in control now. Many people helped the injured public and rushed them to hospitals, which saved some lives. True Mumbaikars rushed to KEM hospital travelling far from Kalyan- Palghar-Churchgate to Parel and donated their blood. This city has always rose to the calling of brotherhood. May it be Water-logging problems in heavy Monsoon, Bomb blasts or situation like today. Migrated public can never match the spirit of the real Mumbaikars who are living here from decades. Mumbai will love you only when you will understand its true spirit.
People who died in the stampede today were between you and me. They were Mumbaikars who were following their routine life. It's unfortunate that they lost their lives in such a tragic way. May their souls rest in peace. Condolences to their families.