A man in his early twenties died after he jumped in front of a moving Metro train at the Mayur Vihar Extension station on Tuesday.
This is the third suicide in four days on a Metro track and the fifth this year. The other two were reported from Chandni Chowk and Uttam Nagar stations. The incident has sent alarm bells ringing in DMRC and authorities are scrambling to find ways to curb the tragic phenomenon at Metro stations.
“A Dwarka-bound train was entering the station when a man threw himself in front of the engine. The driver slammed on the emergency brakes, but could not save the man. He had suffered fatal head injuries. The autopsy report will state the cause of death,” said B S Gujjar, additional DCP (Railways). The man’s identity is yet to be established.
“The incident occurred at 11:44 am. The man was swiftly extricated and rushed to a hospital on an ambulance,” a DMRC official said. Metro drivers have applied brakes at least 125 times to stop commuters from coming under the wheels since Metro services began in the capital.
“The city centre at west Delhi was once a suicide point. Now, Metro stations have become a favourite haunt of those wanting to end their lives,” said a senior railway police officer. Police are now discussing the issue with DMRC.
Authorities are also in touch with officials of Kolkata Metro that has witnessed 224 suicide attempts since inception. Over 124 people have died so far. And within 120 days of operations, a teen committed suicide on the Bangalore Metro recently.
Solutions are many, but entail huge investments. If the Railway Board gives the nod, Kolkata Metro Rail will install a system to stop suicides. It has begun a pilot project to install fibre walls on platforms. The walls retract just before Metro doors open, leaving no room for suicide.
The project’s feasibility has been tested at three stations with maximum footfall and the operational cost hovers around Rs 12 crore per station. Earlier, a software that allowed CCTV cameras to track passengers moving suspiciously on platforms was activated. “Those who commit suicide spend much time on the platform before jumping in front of a train. By tracking such individuals we can avert suicides,” said a senior Metro official.
This system is in place at the underground railway networks at New York, London and Singapore.