Helipads on spaces near Central Railway tracks soon
The Maharashtra government has decided to allow open spaces near the Central Railway (CR) tracks to be used as helipads so that those injured in accidents can be taken to hospitals.mumbai Updated: Nov 27, 2014 00:37 IST
The Maharashtra government has decided to allow open spaces near the Central Railway (CR) tracks to be used as helipads so that those injured in accidents can be taken to hospitals. The state will amend relevant legal provisions to facilitate this.
In response to a notice issued by the high court, the urban development department had filed an affidavit, stating it has decided to issue directives to all local bodies to allow the use of open spaces, playgrounds, recreation grounds and areas meant for gardens, etc, to be used during an emergency.
According to the affidavit, section 37A of the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966, prohibits the use of open spaces reserved for playgrounds for any purpose other than sports.
In view of the ban, the government has also decided to amend the section suitably, so as to allow playgrounds to be used as helipads in an emergency.
While hearing a suo motu public interest litigation, the court had issued a notice to the urban development department after the CR sought orders to speed up a proposal submitted to the Maharashtra government on the use of air force helicopters to evacuate the injured to hospitals in case of a major accident.
The CR had said owing to its automatic signalling system, its disaster management train could not reach the spot of a major accident or untoward incident on the line.
It also pointed out that in case of a breakdown of rail services, Mumbai roads get badly choked by vehicles and pedestrians that ambulances are ineffective. Keeping all this in mind, the CR had requested the state to allow open spaces near its tracks to be used as helipads.
The court had initiated the suo motu proceeding after 16-year-old Monica More lost her arms when she slipped through the gap between the platform and the footboard of the train at Ghatkopar station.