The growing number of accidents occurring on railway tracks in the city and the lack of ambulances to rush victims to hospitals for much-needed aid during the golden hour has been in debate for a long time. Commuters falling off crowded local trains or trespassers getting hit or run over can breathe a sigh of relief as the railways and the state government are planning to jointly procure around 100 ambulances, of which 40 will be parked outside Central and Western railway stations.
According to senior railway officials, Supreme Court recently instructed the state government and the railways to jointly procure 100 ambulances to be used to ferry victims of railway accidents.
“Of the 100-odd ambulances, 40 will be distributed to both Central and Western Railways, which would be kept outside stations,” said a senior railway official on condition of anonymity.
The ambulances would be procured in phases and would be parked outside railway stations in the city. The decision comes close on the heels of the recent Kasara collision, wherein the medical accident relief train apparently reached the spot an hour after the mishap that left one person dead and scores injured. Recently, Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) conducted a survey at vital spots and stations where accidents are common.
Plan of action
Based on results of the survey, JJ School of Architecture suggested steps to be taken to prevent accidents on tracks, for which around Rs 120 crore is to be spent in the future.
“We are in the process of taking necessary permissions from the state government and will then approach the ministry of finance for clearance. Only then can we begin work,” said Rakesh Saxena, managing director, MRVC.
JJ School of Architecture has suggested constructing more foot over bridges, improving connectivity, bridges, elevators, barricades and reorganising built-up spaces.
Tragedy on tracks
According to statistics provided by the railways, around 10 people die every day, either while crossing tracks, or through collisions with poles while leaning out of moving trains.
A report submitted by the Kakodkar committee to the ministry of railways this year mentioned that out of 15,000 deaths on tracks every year across the country, 6,000 happen on the city’s suburban rail system.