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There’s blood on the tracks

Despite a high court ruling to ensure first aid and ambulances for railway accident victims, the railway authorities continue to remain callous.

mumbai Updated: Sep 14, 2009 01:15 IST
Rachna Pratihar

Despite a high court ruling to ensure first aid and ambulances for railway accident victims, the railway authorities continue to remain callous.

The body of a 30-year-old unidentified man, which was cut into three pieces, lay unattended on a central railway platform of the bustling Dadar railway station for over eight hours on Sunday before the Central Railways finally managed to arrange for a hearse van.

According to Government Railway Police (GRP), the victim was run over by an unknown local train between Dadar and Matunga stations on down slow line early Sunday morning, around 1 am. His body, however, was finally taken to Sion hospital only at 9.45am.

Shriniwas Mudgerikar, Chief Public Relations officer (CPRO), of Central Railway, told HT, “The station master came to know about the accident at 2.15 am and immediately informed the control room to arrange for an ambulance. The railway doctor also arrived in some time. The delay was owing to the fact that the agency responsible for providing the ambulance was on strike.”

The high court had personally summoned the general managers of both the railways and rapped the railways for their callousness following a petition. The court directive states that all major railway stations should have a medical room to give first aid to accident victims and also have an ambulance for transporting victims.

The GRP alleged that the delay was due to non-cooperation of the railway authorities, who are responsible for providing immediate medical aid to the victims.

“The station master at Dadar railway station informed us about the accident around 1.15 am while the doctor from Byculla railway hospital was called at 4 am who declared the victim dead," Assistant Commissioner of Police Bapu Thomre told HT.

"The station master said he was not aware of the circular which states that the railways should pay the GRP Rs 750 for arranging an ambulance and disposing a body," Thomre added.

The GRP has registered the case as an accidental death. But the Central Railway took another two hours after the case was registered to transport the body.

(with inputs from Rajendra Aklekar)