How prompt is the railways response to major accidents?
Do the railways rehearse or conduct drills to ensure that their response is fine tuned? If they don't they need to do this double quick. Every sector needs to do this.
After every accident one sees some manner of ham handed efforts.
The biggest need are as follows.
1. Urgent medical attention to those injured - all railway bogies need to have well equipped and frequently inspected first aid boxes.
All railway staff need to be taught - on pain of death
, the techniques of first aid. Simple things like stabilizing a limb fracture with bandages using sticks etc, pain relief, first aid and bandaging of injuries etc.
2. Railways need to ensure there are accessible roads along railway tracks and casualty evacuation needs to be prompt. I will say, get the airforce involved with heli borne evacuation if need be.
There have been and continue to be incidents where the RPF themselves are the looters. I remember reading in horror when there was a Rajdhani collision (I think) the RPF constables were busy ripping off ornaments off the dead and dying. There needs to an be immediate cordon here. Ensure rewards for explerary action always, as also punishment for dereliction of duty. The regional railway heads need to ensure they go after these things promptly and relentlessly.
4. Railway hospital and other hospitals. Have any of you ever visited a railway hospital or a government hospital recently? If you had money you wouldn't want to get treated there. Medical care is expensive, hospitals are ill equipped across the board. They can't find doctors and staff to man these hospitals. Government needs to ensure that the process of the railways minister announcing 'rewards' as a vote pulling gesture is done away with and a system is in place to ensure that each accident victim's health care needs are paid for. I think accident insurance is included in every railway ticket that we buy.
5. The issue of counselling is very important. It does not need to be hi-fi, simple things as prayer meetings and group discussions etc need to be done.
6. The bane of all sarkari organizations is that the system is all about all work and no play. No extracurricular activities at all, no sports, no get togethers. This needs to change, a better environment where people interact with each socially (not during office hours as they are wont to do in the absence of such formal social interaction) makes for a sad work place. Small things to make people love their jobs - prizes for good preformances, for being well dressed, most importantly a workplace that one feels proud to be in. All railways work places seem to be in suspended animation like they were still in the British Raj with barely liveable areas for the injuns while the gora sahibs had airconditioned offices. Across the board improvement of sarkari offices needs to be carried out.
I am sure there is no dearth of rules, but regional managers need to ensure that they persue these things constantly.