The Bombay high court on Monday pulled up the railway administration for not providing emergency medical centres at suburban stations to provide immediate medical aid to accident victims, even though the court had issued specific orders for the same earlier.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by city activist Sameer Zaveri, which raises the issue of the safety of suburban railway passengers.
The judges observed that though the high court had passed specific orders in February 2011 expressing the need for emergency medical centres to cater to the immediate medical needs of railway accident victims on suburban railway tracks, the railway administration has maintained that it is not feasible to set up such centres at suburban stations.
“Not only have you taken a stand contrary to the earlier orders, you have shown complete lack of sensitivity,” the division bench of justice Abhay Oka and justice Ajay Gadkari said.
Suresh Kumar, counsel for the railways, pointed out that an ambulance, along with a doctor, is stationed outside every suburban railway station, so that victims of accidents can be rushed to the nearest hospital.
The judges, however, asked him if an ambulance can move speedily during rush hours. “Ask your officers to check how much time a vehicle will take to reach Rajawadi Hospital from Ghatkopar station, or from Thane railway station to the Civil Hospital during rush hour,” the bench said. “You have brazenly decided not to set up emergency medical centres.”
The court has granted the railway administration time till next Monday to state if it will set up emergency medical centres of its own accord or it would pass an order in this regard.