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Railways replace Accident Relief Medical Vans to improve disaster response

Specification of high-speed Self Propelled Accident Relief Trains (HS-SPARTs) with a speed of 160 kmph have been finalized and it is planned to be procured in addition to existing 110 kmph SPART.


Railways replace Accident Relief Medical Vans to improve disaster response
Indian Railways have an organized system of relief for managing accidents with its own resources. Image Credit: ANI

Indian Railways is gradually replacing locomotive-hauled Accident Relief Medical Vans (ARMVs) with Self Propelled Accident Relief Medical Vans (SPARMVs) to improve response during a disaster. Specification of high-speed Self Propelled Accident Relief Trains (HS-SPARTs) with a speed of 160 kmph have been finalized and it is planned to be procured in addition to existing 110 kmph SPART. Further, to improve the capacity during restoration, 175 Tonnes cranes are under procurement which is an upgradation over existing 140 T cranes available with Indian Railways. The concept of the golden hour has also been recognized to expedite response time during a disaster.

The main areas of focus on disaster management are:-

Faster ResponseBetter facilities and equipment

Expanding resources to meet requirements in major accidents

Coordination with other agencies of central and state governments

Training and Preparedness

Indian Railways have an organized system of relief for managing accidents with its own resources. It consists of more than 6 thousand trained breakdown staff, 176 Accident Relief Trains (ARTs) and 86 Accident Relief Medical Vans (ARMVs) made using passenger coaches. All Accident Relief Trains and Accident Relief Medical Vans have pre-defined beats, inspection schedules and response time. In addition, there are 90 Break down Cranes of various capacities over the Indian Railway system.

All equipment in Accident Relief Trains and Accident Relief Medical Equipments have been standardized based on High-Level Committee recommendations. Some of the items being imported for rescue, relief, and restoration are as follows:

Medical equipment like Augmented first aid box, body bags, foldable chairs, portable fire extinguishers, operation theatre equipment, etc.

Hydraulic Re-railing equipment (HRE)Emergency Pneumatic airbags for liftingGenerators & Electrical equipment

Hydraulic rescue device (HRD)Wire rope sling & shacklesFire fighting equipment

Abrasive cutting toolsSignaling & communication equipment

Indian Railways also conducts periodic mock drills with National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) for training and ensuring preparedness during a disaster.

(With Inputs from PIB)

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