Open spaces along railway tracks can now be used as helipads in emergencies so that those injured in accidents can be quickly taken to hospital.
The Maharashtra government has issued instructions in this regard, directing all local bodies to allow temporary use of open spaces for disaster management purposes.
Assistant government pleader BB Sharma on Wednesday infor med the Bombay high court that the urban development department had on Tuesday issued orders under section 154 of the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act to all local bodies to allow temporary use of open spaces meant for gardens, playgrounds and recreation grounds for disaster management purposes.
The order was issued following a high court notice during the course of a hearing on a suo-motu public interest litigation. Central Railway had sought orders to speed up its proposal submitted to the Maharashtra government for using air force helicopters for evacuating injured passengers to hospitals in case of any major accident.
Central Railway had said that owing to automatic signalling, their disaster management train cannot reach the spot if any major accident or untoward incident takes place on the line.
It also said that when rail services break down, the city’s roads are so choked by vehicles that ambulances are not effective. Taking these factors into consideration, Central Railway had requested the state government to declare 14 open spaces available near the Central Railway line as helipads.
The court had initiated the suo-motu proceedings after 16-year-old Monica More lost her forearms when she slipped on to the tracks through the gap between the platform and the footboard of the suburban train she was trying to board.