<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The railways has claimed that each ambulance outside stations costs the state government Rs 2 lakh a month, which was why they were removed from stations like Kurla Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT). The Central Railway (CR) is now not only getting more ambulances but is also setting up emergency medical rooms at railway stations.The decision comes after a November 12 incident, when a passenger died while he was waiting to board 12542 LTT-Gorakhpur Superfast Express from Kurla LTT.Sources said that the 108 ambulance service was removed from outside the Kurla LTT railway station in September, as it was simply stationed outside the station premises along with a doctor and there already was another ambulance at the station.”We were informed that around Rs 2 lakh was spent each month on an ambulance provided outside railway stations, which was paid by the state government,” said a Central Railway official.However, after the death of a passenger Abdul Ansari (45) earlier last week, the Central Railway authorities asked the state Health department to provide more ambulances outside stations.”However, no provision has been made for an ambulance yet. Work on the FOB and an escalator is underway at the Kurla LTT, but proper barricading has not been done, putting commuters’ lives at risk,” said Ajay Bose, an RTI activist.There are currently nine ambulances for CR suburban stations.”We are procuring additional ambulances and even setting up emergency medical rooms (EMRs) at railway stations. In fact, at Kurla LTT, the EMR will be ready by November end,” said SK Jain, divisional railway manager (Mumbai), Central Railway.Around 30 more ambulances are expected to be deployed at various railway stations, while in the next few months, there will be at least 26 EMRs on the suburban system. At present, there are 14 EMRs operational, 16 more will be added, according to railway officials. The tender process has begun, but the railways is finding it difficult to get contractors interested in setting up EMRs, they noted.The reason for the poor response is that doctors are kept engaged for 7-8 hours of work-time while they get to attend to accident cases. People also go to them with basic ailments like cough and cold. To address this problem, the Western Railway has decided to allow doctors to practise at these EMRs, where they can treat regular patients for a nominal fee. The railways is also considering setting up of pharmacies at the same locations.”It is the state health department’s job to provide ambulances. We have been requesting them to provide it at all suburban stations as per a High Court directive. We don’t want to withdraw it. It is to be ensured by them (state government),” said Sunil Udasi, Chief PRO, Central Railway.LIFE LOSTOn Nov 12, passenger Abdul Ansari, who was waiting at Kurla LTT to board LTT-Gorakhpur Superfast Express, collapsed. He was reportedly moved from Kurla LTT after an hour


Passenger’s death forces frugal CR to restart ambulance service