New Delhi: The railways disaster response mechanism in India is set to improve significantly with Indian Railways gradually replacing the existing locomotive hauled Accident Relief Medical Vans (ARMVs) with Self Propelled Accident Relief Medical Vans (SPARMVs).
Apart from finalisation of the specifications of high-speed Self Propelled Accident Relief Trains (HS-SPARTs) with speeds of 160 kmph, the Indian Railways is also procuring 175 tonne capacity cranes to boost capacities during restoration.
The concept of 'golden hour' will also be a key in speeding up response time whenever disasters strike.
The Railways has prioritised on certain key areas of disaster management, such as faster response, better facilities and equipment, expanding resources to meet requirements in major accidents, coordination with other agencies of Central and state governments, and training and preparedness.
Indian Railways currently has more than 6,000 trained breakdown staff, 176 ARTs, 86 ARMVs and 90 breakdown cranes for disaster relief. It also conducts periodic mock drills with the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) for training and ensuring preparedness during disaster.
The Indian Railways has recorded its safest-ever performance in the first six months of this financial year with zero passenger fatalities.