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Court heat on railways over medical facilities

Coming down heavily on railway authorities for failing to provide timely medical aid to accident victims despite repeated orders, the Bombay High Court on Thursday ordered both Central and Western railway authorities to develop Dadar station as a model for providing emergency medical treatment.

india Updated: Mar 27, 2009 01:13 IST
Kanchan Chaudhari

Coming down heavily on railway authorities for failing to provide timely medical aid to accident victims despite repeated orders, the Bombay High Court on Thursday ordered both Central and Western railway authorities to develop Dadar station as a model for providing emergency medical treatment.

While hearing two petitions on the non-availability of medial aid at railway stations, a division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud slammed the divisional railway managers of Western and Central railways.

“We are not interested in your affidavits, human lives are not on your affidavits ask your officers to perform their duties, do something on ground level,” said Chief Justice when government pleader D.A. Nalawade repeatedly told the court about affidavits filed by the state and the central governments.

The court has asked the railways to form a committee of both DRMs and chief medical officers of both the divisions for effective implementation of the pilot project. The committee, which will consider suggestions by amicus curiae Jamshe Mistry, and incorporate suggestions. The committee has been given two weeks to implement the project. After a brief hearing in the morning, the court had directed the railway authorities to tell what medical facilities were available at suburban stations.

Additional Solicitor General Rajendra Raghuvanshi retu-rned with the list of facilities but judges were unimpressed as crucial equipment like oxygen cylinders was missing.

Raghuvanshi offered to make Dadar station a model to provide medical facilities to accident victims.

The judges ordered the railways to earmark a space on every platform at Dadar for an emergency medical room with requisite equipment and a medical attendant. As directed by the court, the room will have a bed and stretcher and other emergency equipment and portable medical kit.

The railways will have to provide a space on eastern side of Dadar station for the ambulances of 1298 service with which it had tied up for transporting accident victims to hospitals quickly.