This is an old post dated January 16 2010. The issue is still contemporary.
Rekha Haldar’s address is Ishwarinagar Road, Kona Colony, Halisahar but she works as a caregiver to an old man in Ganesh Chandra Avenue, Kolkata for last 18 years. Presently she is in the twilight zone in a free bed in Calcutta Medical College. She is the last and this year’s 2nd suicide victim in Kolkata’s under ground Metro Railways. On 9 January this year, a 33 year old woman named Tanusree Datta jumped on the track and did not need any hospital care.
Between 1988 and 2009, 184 people have attempted suicide in Metro, of whom 86 died and 98 were rescued. In 2009, there were 15 suicide attempts with 10 deaths. Five were rescued. The year before saw the same number of attempts resulting in seven deaths.
If Metro Rail is not running an euthanasia service, Calcutta’s premier transport system seems to have earned popularity with suicidal people. It remains a mystery as to why they find Metro Rail so convenient for their upward journey. May be a psychologist’s interest can shed light on these shadowy deaths.
But we can conjecture and gossip and guess.
1. Metro Rail is nice and cool.
2. Death is fast and almost 50% sure (see statistics).
3. You can disrupt many people’s schedule.
4. There is nobody to stop you.
This list can go on.
I wonder what Metro Rail Authority is doing to stop this madness. Closer introspection reveals that all the deaths are paid. You cannot enter the caverns of the Metro’s suicide friendly platforms without paying. Secondly, the white border on the platforms tells you exactly where to go to commit suicide. For over 2 decades, Metro Rail has been serving the suicidal passengers with guaranteed satisfaction.
Someone told me that the authorities are considering to install CCTVs to monitor the passengers for suspicious behavior from a control room. Impressive idea. On any given day, that’s a proposition to play hide and seek with a million commuters. I will not be surprised if suicides start to take place inside Metro Rail’s CCTV control rooms now.
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