Manish Sisodia visits railway coaches turned isolation centres at Shakur Basti
As the railways gears up to deploy 500 train coaches across nine stations in Delhi as isolation centres for Covid-19 patients, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday inspected the first 50 coaches, deployed at Shakur Basti railway station.
The remodelled railway coaches will function as Covid Care Centres for patients with mild or very mild symptoms of the infection.
Sisodia’s visit comes a day after nearly 270 isolation coaches were deployed at the platform and washing area of Anand Vihar railway station.
While train services at Shakur Basti have not been disrupted, five pairs of trains travelling to and from Anand Vihar have been asked to operate from Old Delhi Railway Station until further orders.
“The soaring temperatures and the heat will make it problematic for our medical staff to operate while wearing heavy personal protective equipment. We are trying our best to improve the infrastructure and come up with a solution to this so that we can begin deploying staff and admitting patients at these isolation centres,” Sisodia said.
Railway officials had on Tuesday said that they were considering using “bubble sheeting” on the roof of the coaches which could bring down temperatures “by three-four degrees.”
While addressing the problem of soaring temperatures, Northern Railway general manager Rajiv Chaudhry on Wednesday said during a press conference they were considering multiple options to tackle the issue.
Last week, Centre had promised around 500 such coaches to Delhi to tackle the surge in Covid-19 cases in the capital. While 317 coaches have been fitted at Anand Vihar and Shakur Basti railway stations, the remaining will be deployed by Thursday in the following manner: Sarai Rohilla (50), Safdarjung (21), Adarsh Nagar (30) Shahdara (13), Delhi Cantt (33), Patel Nagar (26) and Tughlakabad (13).
Food, electricity, cleaning, charging, and water will be provided by the railways while the state government is tasked with deciding upon the hospital which will be connected to these Covid care centres. “We are in touch with Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) for the food since they are used to managing bulk order,” he said.
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