Tiff leaves injured commuters in no man’s land

So why is the GRP refusing to attend to injured persons at railway stations between Kurla and Dadar. An RPF official said,“GRP staff is now adamant that they will attend only those cases in which the commuter has died in a train accident.

Written by Kalpana Verma | Mumbai | Published:March 26, 2009 11:59 pm

* On March 20,one Vinod K Thapa (21),got injured while getting down from a train at the Dadar Central Railway station. The station master gave a memo to GRP personnel to attend the case. But the GRP refused. Later a Railway Protection Force constable took Thapa to Sion Hospital.
* On March 21,at 8.15 am,a passenger died in a train accident. The Deputy station master gave a memo to the GRP but GRP refused to attend the case on grounds that the memo said that the passenger was unconscious when he was actually dead. After three hours the GRP attended the case.
* On March 22 after the GRP refused to take a railway employee to the hospital the deputy station superintendent took him to Sion Hospital.
* On March 23,one Santosh Tukaram Ghorpade (28),fell down at platform no-6 of Dadar CR. After refusal from the GRP,PO Patil,a RPF constable took him to Sion Hospital.

So why is the GRP refusing to attend to injured persons at railway stations between Kurla and Dadar. An RPF official said,“GRP staff is now adamant that they will attend only those cases in which the commuter has died in a train accident. It is the duty of the railway staff to admit the injured. If the railway staff makes a memo saying that particular person has died only then will they attend the body. Railway staff is not authorised to declare a person dead.”

However,AK Sharma,commissioner,GRP,differs. “It is the duty of the railways to give us coolies or other staff and provide us with ambulances on time for taking the body or injured people. The station master or station superintendent in their memo mentions that the person is only injured. Hours after making the memo they provide us with ambulances but the GRP is blamed for the delay.”

On Wednesday afternoon,there was a meeting of the GRP officials. According to Bapu A Thombre,Assistant Railway commissioner,GRP,Central zone,it was decided that at all stations of Western Railway and Central Railway,only when Railways will provide the GRP with ambulances,coolies,medical aid and some railway staff,will they attend the cases. “When our staff takes the body or injured person to a hospital,there should be a railway staffer with him,” Thombre said.

“As we do not get coolies on time,we have to hire local drug addicts,called gardullahs,for carrying the dead. The station master gets rid of all the formalities by giving a memo. As per the Indian Railway Act 1989,it is the duty of railways to provide medical facilities,ambulance and railway staff to carry dead or injured persons to hospitals. It should have the infrastructure needed for this. The High Court has also given directions that it is the duty of railways to send injured to the nearest hospital at the earliest,” Thombre added.

However,a railway official said,“As per the police manual they should make transportation arrangements. However,we had arranged first aid at stations with trained staff. Also,we have 129 ambulance services. Under section 174 of CrPC,accidental cases should be dealt with by the GRP.”

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