The Ministry of Railways has recently announced certain measures to ensure speedy and efficient rescue, relief and restoration at the time of accidents and disasters on 02-01-2020. The Indian Railways has proposed to take the following initiates to achieve better disaster management results:
- Enhance the resources, and equipments, etc required for disaster management
- Conduct periodic mock drills with National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) for training personnel and for ensuring preparedness during disasters
- Coordination with other agencies of Central and State Governments
- Replace locomotive hauled Accident Relief Medical Vans with Self-Propelled Accident Relief Medical Vans to improve response during disaster
- Launch of high-speed Self-Propelled Accident Relief Trains with speed of 160 kmph, 176 Accident Relief Trains and 86 Accident Relief Medical Vans
- Procurement of 175 Tonnes cranes and 90 Break Down Cranes for restoration purpose
- Training of 6000 trained breakdown staff
- Procurement and import of accident relief medical equipments for rescue, relief and restoration including first aid box, body bags, foldable chairs, portable fire extinguishers, operation theatre equipments, emergency pneumatic air bags for lifting, generators an electrical equipment, fire-fighting equipments, signaling and communication equipments, etc.
- Integration of multiple railway helpline numbers into a single number 139 with for quick grievance redressal and enquiry by passengers during their journey. The said emergency railway number 139 has the following features and benefits:
- This helpline 139 would be in 12 languages
- It would be an Interactive Voice Response System
- The helpline number can be dialled from any telephone, smart phone, low-end phones, etc
- Passengers looking for any kind of railway assistance may avail the simpler helpline option including security and medical assistance, enquiry about PNR status, arrival/departure of the train, accommodation, fare, ticket booking, ticket cancellation, wake up alarm facility, destination alert, wheel chair booking, meal booking, etc, catering and general complaints, queries during accident, customer care, etc
- In view of launch of emergency railway number 139, the Indian Railways has discontinued the earlier railway helpline numbers including 138 (for general complaints), 1072 (for accidents and safety), 9717630982 (for SMS complaints), 58888 / 138 (for clean my coach), 152210 (for vigilance), 1800111321 (for catering services).
Thus, the aforesaid measures would enable the Indian Railways to improve the disaster management system for speedy and competent rescue, relief and restoration at the time of accidents and disasters.
Senior Legal Associate
The Indian Lawyer