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Mumbai: CR comes up with novel plan to prevent theft of new stretchers

Authorities are working on reducing the weight of the seat-cum-stretchers installed to help carry accident victims, by using mild steel; this material would fetch very little in the market, if stolen

Central Railway (CR) has struck upon a unique idea to prevent the stealth of its seat-cum-stretcher it had installed in one of its trains to help carry accident victims to the nearest medical centre. They will reduce its weight so as to decrease its resale value and make it not worth the effort to steal.

Central Railway authorities had installed 14 of the foldable equipment in seven trains one each in the coach next to the motorman and guard’s cabin in August
Central Railway authorities had installed 14 of the foldable equipment in seven trains one each in the coach next to the motorman and guard’s cabin in August

CR is taking these efforts after its earlier foldable stretchers each worth Rs 1,700 had gotten stolen. Authorities had installed 14 of the foldable equipment in seven trains one each in the coach next to the motorman and guard’s cabin in August.

These were meant to be used in emergencies, in case a commuter is injured after falling off a train or being run over by it. However, the stretchers were stolen within days of being introduced, when the train was parked in the yard. CR managed to retrieve three stretchers, but they were damaged completely.

CR then procured a seat-cum-stretcher worth Rs 8,000 and installed it in one train on a pilot, mid-day had reported on October 11. Authorities are now looking to steal a march over the thieves by getting to the root of the problem.

CR officials are working on upgrading the quality of the seat in a way that its weight is reduced, and its resale value is a miniscule portion of its cost by changing the material with which it is made.

“We are trying to bring down its weight from 25 kg to 16 kg. Moreover, it is made of fibre-reinforced plastic and mild steel, whose resale value is very less,” said a CR official. Sources said that if, by chance, the equipment does get stolen, it wouldn’t fetch the thieves anything beyond Rs 80 or so.

Moreover, it’s not as easy to carry away this type of stretcher as the previous one. A total of eight such stretchers are to be installed in four trains – one each in the compartment on both ends of the train. Measuring 6.5 feet x 1.5 feet, passengers can use it during emergency.

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