HC asks Railways to put up barricades at Mumbai stations to stop mishaps

Observing that maximum number of accidents occurred due to crossing at rail tracks, the Bombay High Court on Saturday directed Central and Western Railways to put up barricades at spots vulnerable to track-trespassing at all suburban stations in the metropolis.

The Railways informed a bench headed by Justice V M Kanade that barricades had been put up at several stations.

However, the bench asked the Railways to put up the barricades at all stations to prevent mishaps due to crossing of tracks. It also directed the Western Railway (WR) to ensure that emergency medical services were provided at all suburban stations up to Dahanu (the last local station in adjoining Palghar district located 120km away).

Earlier, the emergency medical services, which consist of a doctor and ambulance, were provided at stations up to Virar.

Recently, the local train services were extended up to Dahanu.

The division bench of Justices Kanade and Justice Shalini Phansalkar Joshi also directed the state government to ensure that doctors recognised by Maharashtra Medical Council were posted at the medical centres at railway stations.

The direction was given after petitioner Sameer Zaveri, an activist, informed the court that doctors from Unani and Auyrvedic streams were posted at emergency medical centres.

The HC suggested the government tie-up with private hospitals located near the stations so that injured persons can be moved swiftly there and medical treatment given to them in the golden hour(the first one hour after injury sustained in a mishap).

The directions were given during the hearing of a PIL filed by Zaveri raising the issue of safety of suburban train passengers. Earlier, Railway authorities had come out with a proposal to make Dadar station a model with regard to providing emergency medical services and setting up a medical centre at the terminus.

However, the administration later took a stand that the medical centre remained almost un-utilised and therefore, it was not feasible to set up such centres at other stations.

The court had rejected the criteria laid down by the Railways and directed it to reconsider its decision. After this, Railways set up emergency medical centres at all stations and the government undertook to provide ambulances outside them to ferry the injured to hospitals.

The court, while adjourning the matter to next month, asked the court commissioners to make a surprise visit to the stations to check the facilities and submit a report.

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