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200 officers to be relocated to strengthen ground operations: Piyush Goyal

A day after 22 people died in a stampede on a railway foot overbridge in Mumbai, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday said that 200 officers will be relocated from headquarters as field staff to enhance ground operations and that additional escalators are being sanctioned at crowded Mumbai stations.

“200 officers to be relocated from Head Quarters as field staff to strengthen ground operations and project implementation,” Goyal said in a series of tweets after holding a meeting with Railway Board officials here, in the aftermath of the accident at Elphinstone foot overbridge that killed 22 people.

He also said that to eliminate bureaucracy and delays, “I have empowered GMs to spend whatever is necessary on safety.”

Taking a lesson from the Friday stampede at Elphinstone station, Goyal said, “We are turning a 150 year old convention on its head, hereafter, FOBs (Foot Over Bridges) will be deemed mandatory not a passenger amenity.”

“Additional escalators sanctioned at crowded Mumbai suburban stations and thereafter for all high traffic stations,” the Railway Minister added.

At least 22 commuters were killed and 39 others injured on Friday when a horrific stampede broke out on a narrow railway foot overbridge linking Elphinstone Road and Parel stations when hundreds took shelter there to escape pounding rain.