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‘Consider 4-digit helpline’

mumbai Updated: Mar 29, 2011 01:16 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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After the railways set up a full-fledged medical emergency room at Dadar station, the Bombay high court has suggested that it be implemented at other stations as well.

The high court has also asked the western and central railways to consider a common four-digit helpline number for inquiries, train delays and the control room. Chief justice Mohit Shah said, “Finalise one helpline number, probably of four digits, which will be easy for commuters to remember and which can be used for all queries.”

Suresh Kumar, advocate for WR, informed the court that they already had a number (2300 4000) displayed in all train compartments. Besides, the railways also have a ten-digit number – 98333 11111 for emergencies. The court emphasised on a four-digit number saying commuters could then easily recall it during emergencies.

The court has summoned senior officials of both CR and WR on April 28.

The high court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed in 2008 by Samir Zaveri, who lost his legs in a railway accident, seeking medical facilities to accident victims during the “Golden Hour” (within an hour of the accident).

Chief justice Shah observed, “You were directed to start it (first 24-hour medical room) at Dadar station. You should consider providing it at other stations.”

A compliance report submitted by Dr Meena Shekhar, senior medical officer, Mumbai Central, stated that an emergency medical room had been provided with an updated first aid box and all emergency equipment. The report also said they had asked the commissioner of police, railways, to provide them with photographs of accident victims to put up on their website.

Pointing out that on an average 12 persons die in railway accidents every day, amicus curie [friend of court] Jamshed Mistry and the petitioner’s advocate Dipesh Siroya said there was need for more medical rooms to provide speedier medical aid in case of accidents.

Kumar said ambulance services were provided at every station. Also, stationmasters were provided Rs 750 as medical expenses for each emergency.

The court also expressed concern over the hardships faced by commuters while climbing foot over-bridges. The court suggested that railway authorities consider constructing underground bridges instead.