The sub-committee of ministers will coordinate with railways officials to resolve issues faced by commuters.
Mumbai: The Maharashtra cabinet on Tuesday appointed a sub-committee of ministers to coordinate with railways authorities on the needs of commuters as well as measures to be undertaken to avoid a tragedy like Friday’s stampede at the Parel- Elphinstone Road FOB. The government has not yet declared the names of members of the committee. But both Shiv Sena and BJP ministers would be included in it.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena ministers met the chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and demanded that all hawkers be evicted from railway stations so that the FOBs and the areas near the stations are decongested. The Elphinstone bridge stampede killed 22 people on Friday during peak office hours.
Eknath Shinde, who led the ministers’ delegation, kept a few demands before the CM regarding the safety of rail passengers. “We have demanded that the government evict all hawkers from stations. They narrow the walking space on the FOBs and station areas and the railway police sometimes do not take action against them. We want to make the stations hawkers free. We also asked the CM to appoint a cabinet sub-committee to take measures regarding safety of commuters,” Mr Shinde said.
The minister also expressed hope that the railways would grant some of its officials autonomy to take decisions. “Any matter related to railways goes before the railways board for final approval. It really takes a long time to reach a conclusion, else it remains pending. The railways should give some authority to its local officials to take decisions,” Mr Shinde said.
Another Sena minister, Mr Ramdas Kadam said the Elphinstone tragedy was discussed at the chief minister’s meeting. “All FOBs should be repaired on priority basis and the government should take action against hawkers. It is about ensuring a safe journey for commuters,” he added. One of the other demands was to increase the salary of Anganwadi workers who had protested last week at Azad Maidan.