AS many as 50 train coaches are in the process of being converted into isolation wards for COVID-19 patients at Pune’s Ghorpadi Coach Repair Factory.
Officials said the coaches, which are the first instalment of aide, will be able to house 800-900 patients and more coaches could be readied as and when required by the local administration.
Last week, the Indian Railways had announced that it would offer 20,000 coaches for conversion into isolation wards across the country, which could accommodate up to 3.2 lakh patients.
The Railways has set target for each of its 16 zones to convert the coaches into isolation wards. Officials said the Central Railway has been directed to convert 482 coaches into isolation wards.
In Pune, the work is on at Ghorpadi Yard and the first two coaches are likely to be ready in two days, said an official.
“In the first phase, a total of 50 coaches will be made available… Each coach will have about 16-18 beds and overall 500 coaches will have a capacity of about 800-900 beds,” said Pune’s Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar, who visited the Ghorpadi Yard to monitor the progress of the work.
Senior Divisional Mechanical Engineer Vijaysinh Dadas and Coaching Depot Officer Rahul Garg are supervising the work at Ghorpadi Coach Repair facility.
Patient cabins are being created by keeping only one berth in a compartment. Bathroom, aisle and other areas are also being modified, said an official.
Officials added that only non-AC ICF sleeper coaches are being used for conversion into quarantine/isolation. One Indian style toilet is be converted into a bathing room. It is to be equipped with a bucket, mug and soap dispenser. Similarly, taps with lift type handles will be provided near washbasins, an offical said.
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