GUWAHATI, June 8 � The Rangiya division of the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has drawn up a comprehensive disaster management plan to deal with any emergency and unforeseen circumstances.
The �Disaster Management Plan 2014� prepared by the Rangiya division, which encompasses most of Lower Assam, is aimed at formulating a �continuous and integrated process of planning, organising, coordinating and implementing measures which are necessary or expedient for promoting a culture of prevention and preparedness by ensuring that disaster management receives the highest priority at all levels�, said NFR PRO Nripen Bhattacharya.
He said that the objective of the plan is to manage serious accidents involving passenger carrying trains with a view to rapid access to the site of accident, besides providing help to stranded passengers and arranging their prompt evacuation, protecting railway property, restoring traffic in the affected area and instilling a sense of security amongst the commuters.
�As a part of it, seniormost Railway officer at the site of the accident shall be designated as the Accident Site Manager and various responsibilities have been assigned to specific departments, including primary assistance by all railway men irrespective of department as needed,� said the official.
The plan also envisages the �golden hour� period, the first one hour after the accident, when the task would be to render definite medical care to the extent possible by qualified medical practitioners and transport of casualties to the nearest hospital.
�The disaster management system should aim at recovering as many critical patients as possible and rushing them to the hospital within this period,� Bhattacharya said.
Various phases have been fixed and during the initial period, among other things, the guard, drivers, conductors and TTEs must pass on the information quickly to the nearest control room or station and start rendering first-aid to the affected passengers. A map for passage of information from the accident site to the higher level in the division has been drawn.
In phase two, the accident relief train is to arrive at the spot, followed by setting up of site organisation, including medical relief camp, security of luggage, clue preservation for investigation, relief, rescue and restoration, coordination with civil authority and Press, liaison with control, communication, arrangement of food and water, besides evacuation of passengers by vehicles.
Special task teams would be formed for different purposes, including medical team for relief, commercial for catering and liaison and displaying names of casualties, RPF for security of luggage, operating team for arranging logistics, electrical for lighting arrangements and so on.
Rescue team members have to wear arm bands and jackets for identification purposes. Besides, railway photographers will take colour pictures of the dead and injured for identification and death certificates are to be issued expeditiously.
�Without a clear plan, it always leads to chaos and confusion at both the accident site and at divisional and zonal headquarters. The plan is therefore intended to streamline the process,� Bhattacharya said.