Mumbai: After stretchers are stolen, CR installs detachable seats in trains

Each seat can be removed from its fixed position and used as a stretcher in case of emergencies; CR had earlier installed 14 foldable stretchers, of these, 11 were stolen

Central Railway (CR) officials must be praying thieves do not foil their good intentions. After stretchers they had placed in trains got stolen, officials have now put in detachable seats that can be used as stretchers in emergencies.

The seats will be placed in the last compartments on both ends of the trains. Authorities hope they prove to be more difficult to steal than the foldable stretchers
The seats will be placed in the last compartments on both ends of the trains. Authorities hope they prove to be more difficult to steal than the foldable stretchers

Railways have faced a lot of flak for not being able to provide stretchers on time, during accidents and emergencies. Commuters had complained that it took at least half an hour for stretchers to arrive; usually porters are sent to the accident spot to take the victims to a hospital.

The porters, too, have had to carry accident victims in their hands owing to lack of stretchers. In answer to these problems, CR had introduced 14 foldable stretchers on seven of its trains on a pilot basis two on each train in the first and last bogies. However, thieves made away with 11 pieces of the equipment days after they were placed.

Now, CR has decided to place eight detachable seats in four trains. The first of these seats was installed on Friday; these seats, like last time, will be placed in coaches at both ends of the train i.e. two seats per train. The seat measures 6.5x1.5 feet and authorities will also paste instructions on how to use it.

“Passengers can remove them for use during emergency. It has a sturdy base with stainless steel bars to hold it,” said Mukesh Nigam, divisional railway manager (Mumbai), Central Railway. These seat-cum-stretchers have been procured at a cost of R8,000. Authorities hope these won’t be stolen, because the seat cannot be carried away by one person, unlike the foldable stretchers. The stretchers had cost the Railways Rs 1,700 each.

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