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Mumbai Locals to have Auto-closing Doors

By Editor's Desk, December 18, 2019, Categories: Edutainment, Featured, Slider

There are the lot of images that are charming, maybe quirky but always unique – showcasing the buzzing culture of Mumbai. The dabbawalas with handcarts, the freelance photographers at the Gateway, lovers cozied up amidst the tetrapods at Marine Drive and of course, ‘the hanging Mumbaikars’ from the locals… But soon, the last image be become a throwback picture of the city.

The shockingly rising statistics of accidents, deaths and injuries caused while boarding and dismounting the Mumbai locals have prompted the Western Railways to introduce automatic door-closing system in the non-AC trains. The intention is to reduce the number of falls, eliminate foot-board traveling and lessen the crowds in the compartments.

To begin with, the first-class compartment and one each from the general, the ladies, and the handicap compartments have been upgraded with automated doors. The doors will be controlled by the motorman. There are emergency buttons, inside and outside the compartments, that will directly alert the motorman in case of a crisis.

The railways are undergoing trials for the acquiring commuter feedback before going forward with new changes. While the trials have begun, the public has mixed reactions to the new system. Most believe it is a good measure to reduce accidents caused during the boarding and dismounting. However, there are concerns of overcrowding, suffocation and punctuality of the trains.

Our HK-based Mumbaikars, who have experienced both – the comforts of the MTR and the horrors of Mumbai locals, share their views on the new developments:

“Every day in Mumbai, thousands of people are commuting by train during peak hours. They’re risking their lives daily for the sake of making it to work in time. For them, this auto-closing door system is a great idea to increase safety measures. It will help save a lot of lives.
However, the concern about suffocation also remains given that there isn’t enough cross-ventilation in the local coaches. They can increase the number of fans inside to address this issue. Another concern is that Mumbaikars are known to find their way around restrictions. If the door closing restricts entry, I hope they don’t find new ways of entering the trains and making it more complicated.
Also I am not sure how it will work in terms of schedule because almost hundreds of people will not be able to make it in their regular trains because of the door-closing. Hope there is provision for accommodating everyone comfortably. I truly wish this upgrade to the trains is a success and people can commute better in the coming years.”
Gaurav Pardeshi

“Yes, it is a good idea. Ventilation will not be an issue because we have windows. But it reduces the accidents and heavy crowds as well.” Parveen Kumar

“Automatic doors are very important for safety of passengers and for avoiding accidents. In non AC compartments installing automatic doors may be difficult as ventilation inside compartment will be largely reduced. It can get uncomfortable during the peak commuting hours of the very hot and humid summers. In the beginning, each station should have additional helping staff to monitor the new system, educate and discipline the commuters while boarding.”Ramchandani Rajesh Lilaram

“It is a good idea to introduce automatic door for a non AC compartments. It will reduce the accidents related to boarding and dismounting from the train. But at the same time there should be proper testing and trail runs before it goes live. The testing should be done for various scenarios such as the train will not start if anything is stuck between the doors or the doors are not properly shut. There should be proper emergency button near the doors in case the passenger wants to inform the staff. There should also be an alert sound before the door is about to close.”Rohit Agarwal

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