Sunday, Aug 19, 2018 | Last Update : 11:26 AM IST
The Union home ministry approved the station's new name in May this year.
Mumbai: Fearing a backlash from the public, Western Railway (WR) authorities are likely to delay the official renaming of Elphinstone Road station to Prabhadevi in the wake of last week's stampede at the station. Twenty-three persons died in the stampede on September 29.
The renaming was to happen last week. Another concern for the authorities is that renaming the station might interfere with the stampede probe records, as the station's name is still Elphinstone Road.
The Union home ministry approved the station's new name in May this year. But officials said renaming the station might not be so simple anymore.
AWR official said, “This is a very disturbing time but now there is a fear about how the public might react to this name change given the tragic situation that we saw on Friday, so it has been kept on the back-burner for now.”
Officials said they don't know what to do in times as this, as this is the first time they are facing such a scenario.
The name change was seen as political demand from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena. It was proposed when Suresh Prabhu was the railway minister, but he later resigned in the aftermath of the Utkal Express' derailment.
Another WR officer said, "Right now, no one is thinking of the name change. The tragedy of the incident and the steps we are taking in that regard and not letting it happen again is our priority."
Commuters meanwhile, said renaming the station does not matter anymore. Akansha Bajpai (27), an advertising professional, said, "Right now it's not about the name, this tragedy just goes to show that we have our priorities mixed up, or rather the political parties have manipulated us away from what is important."
Ms Bajpai, who takes the suburban local from Mahim to Andheri every day, further added, "During the whole Oshiwara/Ram Mandir debate we should have been asking that despite taking so much time to start this station why is there only one toilet, why not a broader bridge given that the station now sees a lot of rush from Jogeshwari."
Lata Argade from Mumbai Rail Pravasi Sangh said, "It's true that this tragedy has put things in perspective about these frivolous squabbles between political parties over names."
She further added, "I think these politicians in fact should be held responsible for not getting the infrastructure done, instead of misleading the public by giving importance to names of stations."