Mumbai. The city of dreams. The city that attracts a diverse crowd from around the nation. Such is the spirit of Mumbai. It engulfs you and ensures that you don’t leave before fulfilling your dreams.

And fueling those dreams is the local train network of Mumbai. Lakhs of passengers travel in local train daily; running to something, running from something.

But no one in their wildest dreams will ever think that the local train they are traveling in, creating some hustle and bustle for grabbing a window seat, can be their one-way ticket to heaven.

SECURITY GONE FOR A TOSS

I traveled in Mumbai locals for around 4 days during my last trip to the city and let me tell you, the security lapses will shine brightly in your eyes the moment you enter any local railway station.

DAY1

I boarded the local train for the very first time from Kanjurmarg station which lies on the central rail network. I had to travel all the way to Mumbai Central, which was situated on the Western Rail Network.

I was still trying to come out of my “Delhi Metro Comfort zone” when I noticed the first and the most severe security lapse.

Nobody was being checked. No full body scans. No checking of the luggage. Not even a single person.

You could enter the station as if it belonged to your forefathers and do whatever you wished, to your heart’s content.

Board any train, throw some dance moves, or even take out your bazooka and fire some missiles, the railway station is your canvas to fully explore your creativity.

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DAY 2, DAY 3, DAY 4

For the next 3 days, I boarded the local train from Mumbai central all the way up to Churchgate station, both of which lie on the western rail network. To my not so utter disappointment, the scenario was the same.

Millions of people entering and exiting but no provisions whatsoever to check whether they are normal people or some terrorists waiting to kill us all.

And what to say about the problem of overcrowding in local trains. According to the Shodh initiative launched by Maharashtra police, in the year 2015 around 3160 people died on the Mumbai suburban rail network out of which around 450 deaths were reported because of people falling off the speeding train.

I saw many people partially in, partially out of the train, barely holding onto something in such a fashion as if they were playing hide and seek with death.

And they had no worries in traveling in such a manner. Were they not worried about making it out alive? Who knows.

WHAT IS HAPPENING IN OUR MILLENIAL CITY?

From what I experienced in my 4 days of travel in the local train, I could easily guess that the entire suburban rail network of the city is running on luck. Yes, luck.

Mumbai has been the center spot of so many terrorist attacks like the 1993 blasts, 26/11 attacks, but the authorities have done nothing but hit the snooze button with a highly surprising attitude of “jab hoga tab dekha jaega”

Why is the city running on the goodwill of sleeper cells and terrorists who surprisingly have not violated this gross lapse in security?

Why are the authorities not worried that any individual can carry a bomb in their bag, drop it in the train and then get down at the next station, in the process killing the entire coach?

Is the fact that thousands of people may die because of their sheer ignorance and foolishness, of no consequence to them? And why the public of Mumbai never protested against this?

Are they waiting for another terror attack to happen or they are just too comfortable in fighting for their window seat or barely hanging from the train with no surety that whether they would make it out dead or alive?

To put it all together, its time Mumbai that you accepted that you have unsafe local trains and prevent the lifeline of the city from becoming ‘Monster on Track‘.


Image credits- Google

Sources: Mid-day, DNA, Times of India + more


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