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Think your commute's bad? This Mumbai train may make you feel better

Mumbai's local trains carry more than eight million people a day. They are also among the world’s most overcrowded trains and tourists are cautioned not to take them during peak hours. Recently, it was so crowded one day, even a veteran daily commuter, Prem Tiwari, 29, could not catch a train. Instead, he took a video of the shocking crush, which went viral. Tiwari, who works as a software engineer, has been taking trains for the last 15 years. Despite the long experience the daily horror has not diminished. He spends five hours every day in the crowded trains to get to work and return. “It is so packed, people crush against my stomach and chest… It becomes hard to breathe," he says. A bigger challenge is to get into the train and then get out during the peak hours. Nearly 4,500 passengers are packed into these trains during peak hours, as against a carrying capacity of 1,700. But there are ways to manage. Tiwari usually takes the train in the opposite direction to reach the last stop and starts the reverse journey afresh. “The crowd would be much less there, I will at least find a place to stand,” he says. Another common tactic is to run parallel to the train on the long platform and jump in before it comes to a stop. “This is a high-speed chase and risky. There is a chance of colliding against the electric poles,” he says. The overcrowding, the jostling and the high-speed chase are a perfect recipe for accidents. More than 3,000 people lose their lives while commuting every year.
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