In four months, nearly 238 people have sought medical help at the only emergency medical room on the suburban railway network at Dadar station. The statistics for the period from April 11 to July 11, underscore the need for the facility at other stations.
“If one medical room gets 238 patients in four months, we can understand how direly the facility is needed at other major junctions,” said railway activist Samir Zaveri, who lost his legs in a rail accident 20 years ago, and filed an RTI query to obtain the data.
Facilitated with doctors and ambulance services, passengers meeting with accidents are given first aid at the medical room. They are then moved to a government hospital if required.
Zaveri had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) demanding medical help at railway stations. The Bombay high court (HC) had, then, ordered that a medical room service be started at Dadar station as a pilot project, which could then be adopted as a model at other stations. Dadar was chosen as western as well as central railway services operate from the railway station. Subsequently, the room was set up in March.
“The HC had asked the railways to replicate the model, but nothing has happened. The lives of many people who meet with accidents could be saved by setting up medical rooms at major stations such as Thane, Kurla, Borivli and others,” added Zaveri.
Currently, the authorities have no plans of setting up additional medical rooms. “We do not plan to set up more medical rooms,” said V Malegaonkar, chief public relations officer, central railway (CR).
“An RTI reply reveals that the CR collected safety charges of over Rs45 crore in 2008-2009, but the details of its use are not available. The charge was included in the ticket. That money should be used for the medical treatment of accident victims,” added Zaveri.