Free Press Journal: Mumbai: Sunday, February 26, 2017.
Despite several accidents being reported in the suburban section, the Central Railways lines (main and harbour) have only 10 out of the 17 Emergency Medical Rooms (EMR) proposed for providing medical aid to victims till he or she is taken to a nearby hospital. The details were revealed in the response to a Right to Information (RTI).
In total, there are 62 stations on the central railway. While the main line has seven EMRs, the harbour line only has three. These EMR’s have been set up by the railways in order to provide first aid to victims of railway accidents.
The response given by railways to the RTI also revealed that Kurla saw as many as 81 accidental deaths last year. Another 51 were injured at Kurla station in the year 2016. Similarly, 43 persons were killed and 37 were injured on Ghatkopar station in the same year. While the number of injured persons and deaths are glaring on these stations, the plan to set up EMR on stations like Kurla and Ghatkopar is yet on tendering stage.
The RTI query filed by activist Samir Zaveri, revealed that the tenders were invited to set up EMR on stations like Kurla and Ghatkopar. However, there was no response and a fresh tender was opened on January 30, 2016.
“The victims of railway accidents need first aid which can happen through setting up medical rooms on railway stations. Track deaths occur every day and persons getting injured due to railway accidents are also reported on a daily basis. Hence it is important that medical rooms are set up on the railway stations to help the injured persons,” said Zaveri.
There are more than 10 stations where the tender for construction of the EMR structure was opened on January 17, 2016. “Many are stuck in the tendering stage. The railways are yet to provide a total of 17 medical rooms on the main line and harbour line of central railway,” added Zaveri.
The query also revealed that the EMR is to be manned by MBBS doctors, one staff nurse and a cleaner which needs to be present to support the doctor. However, a railway source said that the doctors at the medical room only received patients once in a week. “There was no proper utilization of medical rooms even after doctors were available at the medical room for 24 hours a few years back. This is a small drawback which has been witnessed with the presence of medical rooms,” said a railway source.