Tragedy of 26/11 still haunts people

Bandra Terminus remains sitting duck for anti-socials, report Manmohan Singh Naula & Arun Kaushik

Despite past’s horror, when ultras’ bullets pumped deaths on multiple occasions, the Bandra Terminus of Mumbai lay exposed to any unforeseeable event while the authorities don’t seem to be sincere in plugging the loopholes.

Mumbai, the gateway to India and throbbing commercial hub, always remains within the firing range of ultras ever since the terror casts a long shadow over south east Asia even as the security of its over 20 million citizens remains the first and foremost concern of the law enforcers

The 26/11 tragedy had exposed the chinks in the security apparatus of the city. Mumbai police, once touted as the Scotland yard of India, failed to prevent the blood curdling attack on the largest metropolis of India when imposing Anglo-Gothic citadel — Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus meekly succumbed to ultras’ bullets that had left behind them a trail of death and destruction.

The cosmopolis boasts of five odd terminus: Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) at Kurla, Dadar Terminus, Bandra Terminus, Mumbai Central and Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (VT) at Fort from where thousands of trains chug in and chug out from and to all the four geographic locations of the country.

Bandra Terminus lies amidst residential areas of Khar, Bandra, Santacruz and two densely populated slums — Naupada and Behrampada, on its southern side. Having seven platforms and over 70 passenger trains leaving daily for varied destinations across India from here, the state of the art terminus lacks proper fencing of the railway terminus as well as yards that could bolster its safety co-efficient.

The eastern gates of the Terminus can boast of adequate security but the remaining three sides have almost no security and frequented by romeos, drug addicts and other unauthorised people.

Besides, one lone track on its south-west end leads to Bandra suburban station flanking very dense slums in its close proximity… One find people strolling, children playing and addicts on this track perennially seen getting high with intoxicants, alcohols and drugs.

Food packets, bedsheets and other necessary items for passengers are supplied through south-western part of the Terminus. While the passengers are frisked and their luggages checked before entering the platforms, the platforms on this side are dangerously exposed to unforeseeable eventuality with only two or three RPF personnel seen chatting and ignoring unauthorised entrants!