Times of India
29 March 2010
By Alka Shukla
The 12–hour non–stop journey just got safer. Following Budget provisions, CR has made medical facilities available on Nagpur Duronto for free
Forty–year–old Kandivali resident Siddhi Joshi avoids long–distance train journeys. A patient of asthma, she worries that in case of a severe attack she might not be able to get immediate medical help. However, she can now board at least the Mumbai–Nagpur Duronto Express without fear.
For, from last week onwards, medical facilities have been made available on this train that completes the journey within 12 hours, without making a single stop except for technical reasons.
“Handling a medical emergency in such cases could get difficult. This is why we decided to have a medical team on board the train, along with life–saving equipment,” said Srinivas Mudgerikar, chief public relations officer of Central Railway.
The medical team comprises one doctor and one paramedic. They will travel with the passengers. Two berths in the second AC coach have been converted into a medical bay for the purpose. Apart from first–aid equipment, the medical bay has a defibrillator, pulse oxymeter, nebulizer, suction machine, ECG machine and an oxygen cylinder.
“In order to cater to the machines, extra generator services and lighting machines have been made available,” said another railway official.
In case a passenger travelling on the train shows signs of illness, the doctor and the paramedical staff on board will examine him/her. The medical team will be allowed to move the person to the designated sick bay. The services are free of cost.
The services are to be made available on all the nine Durontos in the country following a provision for the same made in the Budget by Union Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee. Western Railways has said it’s ready to offer the facilities on the Mumbai–Ahmedabad Duronto Express within a week.
While the thrice–a–week train hasn’t encountered a major emergency yet, passengers with medical history like Joshi are certainly upbeat. “This is a good initiative, provided it works,” she added.