Purchase of Substandard Rescue Devices by Indian Railway

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Railway Minister
Various Types of Devices are used by the IR Administration in the process of extricating passengers from coaches of the trains in the event of an accident. They are Hydraulic Rescue Devices which are imported from Lukas of West Germany, M/S Holmatro of Netherland & M/S webber of United KIngdom.
In the process of extricating passengers from coaches of the trains, the operation involves cutting of window bars, cutting of pillar between the two windows, cutting of the portion of a coach from floor level to ceiling level in order to create a passage of 1300mmx1100mm, It also involves creating an opening from roof side ion case access from the door is not possible, creating an access to the coach from toilet side . Faster the Coach cutting operation is done, greater are the chances of evacuating passengers alive from the coaches.

Despite the fact that the Railway Administration has been importing Hydraulic Rescue Devices since last 50 years, they are seldom or rarely used at the site of the accidents as can be observed from the photos of the passengers Rescue Operations in an accident available on the internet & news paper reports as well. Gas Cutters are used at most of the accident sites eg at the accident site near Rae bareily to the Dehradun - Varanasi EXpress on 20th March 2015. Not putting the Hydraulic Rescue Devices to use amounts to a Criminal Waste of Public Funds.
Recently IR Administration imported Hydraulic Rescue Devices from M/S Holmatro . As per the Guidelines laid down by the RDSO of the IR, it is mandatory to conduct Trials of the Rescue Devices on condemned coaches before issuing the vendor Performance Test Certificate & paying the bill. in the current case of import of the Hydraulic Rescue Devices in 2017, Trials of the Rescue Devices were not conducted on condemned coaches but on Stainless Steel Sheet or door of BOx Wagon.of Goods train. As the Hydraulic Rescue Devices are a Life Saving Equipment in an accident, their Trial is a must.
It may be recalled that in an accident to the Suburban Train on 22nd October 2009 near Thane Railway station of CR Mumbai Divn, Motor Man of the train lost his life as he could not be extricated from his cabin with the help of the Rescue Device which was available with the CR Mumbai. As all of us are required to travel by trains, we should express our concern with the Railway Minister on the issue of importing 3rd Class Hydraulic Rescue Devices. As per information obtained by me under the Right TO Information Act 2005, during the tRaials of the REscue dEvices which were held in Hariyana at Jagdhari Workshop of the Indian Railway, Time Taken by the the Rescue Devices of the foreign firms viz Lukas, Wen\bber & Holmatro ranged between 30 minutes to 52 minutes to create an opening of 1300mmx1100mm whereas M/S Deccan Automobiles an Indian Firm from Mumbai accomplished the same task in 27 minutes by using their electrically operated Rescue Device. Subsequently in order to favour the foreign firms, in a meeting held on 15th May 2016 of the Rly Officials from Rly Board, RDSO of IR & COFMOW ie Central Organization for Modernization of Workshops a decision was taken to increase the Time Limit Specification from 18 Minutes to 60 minutes.

As our Honourable PM gas laid stress on Make in India Economic Policy, it is necessary to manufacture the Rescue Devices in India or procure them from Indian firms & under no circumstances the Zonal Rlys be allowed to conduct Cutting Capability trials of the Rescue Devices on stainless steel Sheet as recently there is a growing emphasis to manufacture coaches made of Stainless Steel.
From Ramchandra Karve, RTI Activist & activist for the SAfety of Rly Commuters
The Petition was also marked to:
Prime Minister
Despite the Make In India Economic Policy of Honourable Prime Minister, Railway Administration continues to import third class rescue devices from M/s Holmatro of Netherlands and other foreign countries and no attempt is being made to manufacture them at the workshops of the Indian Railway. In an accident to a suburban trains which took place near Thane rly stn on 22nd October 2009, the Motorman could not be extricated alive from his cabin as the rescue device with the CR Mumbai division was useless. I have been taking up this issue since then but the corrupt media is not giving coverage to the information obtained by me under the Right to Information Act2005. Ramchandra Karve more  
Oct 20
It appears that the 105 persons who have viewed the petition do not understand seriousness of the Substandard Rescue Devices which have been purchased by the Railway Administration from M/ S Holmatro of Netherlands. Ramchandra Karve Retired Manager from the Reserve Bank of India and activist for the safety of railway passengers more  
Jan 27

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