The Bombay high court on Thursday directed the Maharashtra government to ensure that Government Railway Police personnel are present at suburban railway stations round the clock, so that people injured in railway accidents can be shifted to hospitals without any delay.
The bench also directed the Central and Western Railways to provide an emergency medical room at every suburban railway station where 100 or more accidents were reported in 2014.
The division bench of justice Abhay Oka and justice AK Menon directed the railways to consider empowering station masters to shift injured people immediately to the nearest hospital, in the absence of a police officer.
The bench issued the directive after noticing that on November 14, 2014 the station master of Sandhurst Road station had to wait for a long time to shift an injured passenger, as no GRP personnel were present at the railway station. The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by activist Samir Zaveri, raising concern over the apathy of railway authorities in providing passengers prompt medical care.
Referring to the fact that 3,352 people lost their lives in 6,617 accidents on railway lines in 2014, the judges said many lives can be saved if timely treatment is provided to injured people.
The bench also expressed its displeasure over the adamant stand of the state government in attempting to remedy the lacunae pointed out by court commissioners about ambulance services provided outside suburban railway stations by the state government.