News Flash – 17 January 2020

National News



Mumbai-Bhubaneswar Express Hits Goods Train, Derails; 24 Injured

Cops oversee rescue operations after the Lokmanya Tilak Express derailed in Cuttack on Thursday.



Bhubaneswar: Twenty-four passengers, including five women, were injured after Mumbai (LTT)-Bhubaneswar Lokmanya Tilak Express derailed between Salagaon and Nergundi stations in Cuttack district on Thursday morning. “The accident occurred around 7am when the passenger train hit a goods train stationed on the same track. Eight coaches and the engine of the train went off the track,” JP Mishra, chief public relations officer of the East Coast Railway (ECoR), said. Railway sources said the driver of the passenger train possibly didn’t see the goods train because of dense fog. They added many passengers were thrown off their seats and suffered injuries when the driver applied brakes suddenly. The sources said locals immediately rushed to the spot and brought the injured out of the train. They also informed police, called the ambulance and fire brigade. The injured passengers were first taken to a nearby hospital and then to the SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack.



Superintendent of police (Cuttack rural) Radha Binod Panigrahi said, “Police, fire brigade and railway medical personnel immediately reached the spot. We rescued and sent the injured to hospital. Locals helped us a lot”. An accident relief train and an accident relief medical equipment train were sent to the spot from the Khurda Road railway division. “We hope to clear the track where the derailment took place by Thursday midnight,” a senior railway officer said. Several trains were diverted via Naraj. The Nergundi station manager, the guard of the goods train, the driver and assistant driver of the passenger train were suspended. The exact cause of the accident was not known immediately. An inquiry will be conducted. Helpline numbers have been set up for the families of the passengers travelling by the Mumbai (LTT)-Bhubaneswar Lokmanya Tilak Express.



Tracking of Public Transport for Women Safety likely by Year End


New Delhi: Finally, after delay of over one-and-half years, tracking of passenger transport vehicles cabs, buses and taxis for women safety is likely to become a reality in the next 7-8 months with the Centre setting a December deadline for all states to operationalise the command and control centres, which will be used to track these vehicles. The road transport ministry has issued guidelines setting a one-month deadline (February 15) for states to submit their proposals to set up monitoring centres with central assistance. The facilities will also locate the vehicles in case passengers press the panic button seeking emergency help. It has set a timeline for establishing these facilities with full back-end support system within six months of getting the first instalment of central assistance under the Nirbhaya Fund. The government has approved Rs 464 crore expenditure to set up these facilities in every state. In most cases, the central share will be 60%. The 37 states and UTs have been brought under four categories based on the number of vehicles and geographical area to work out the maximum project cost.



“While all such new vehicles are getting the VLTD and emergency button from manufacturers, these become useless if we don’t have the command and control centre to track them and send alerts to law enforcing agencies to help the passenger in distress. So, establishing the monitoring centres is the key. The back-end system of the monitoring centres will be hosted on NIC cloud,” said an official. NIC has carried out a successful pilot of this IT backbone called ‘Garud, The Sankat Mochak’ in three districts in Uttarakhand. The monitoring centres shall come up in each state/UT for monitoring alerts and coordinating with emergency response teams for responding to distress calls. While all new vehicles have got the in-built VLTD and panic button, old vehicles would have to install them before they go apply for annual fitness test applications.



Private Air Ambulance Firm makes a Pitch to Government

TRIAL RUN: The team conducted a drill by airlifting a patient from Mandya to Jakkur on Thursday.



Bengaluru: A private helicopter emergency medical services firm on Thursday said it has offered to run air ambulance services in Karnataka and sought the state government’s partnership. The firm, International Critical-Care Air Transfer Team, conducted a mock drill which saw dummy accident victims being transported from Mandya to Jakkur aerodrome. Co-founder Shalini Nilshad said: “We are thinking of making it a free service by tying up with the Karnataka government. Air ambulance teams attending to accident victims are often seen in the US, UK and other European countries”. While she did not elaborate on how the company plans to fund the project, Shalini, however, said designated landing strips will be identified and created along highways in Karnataka, which could be used for choppers to land in case of accidents. Deputy chief minister CN Ashwath Narayan, who was present at Jakkur where the helicopter from Mandya landed, did not comment on ICATT’s proposal. Financial viability and sustainability have been the pain points of such projects in the past. “Over the years, several air ambulance providers have shut shop. This business will be successful only when people can afford it. In other countries, these services are covered under insurance,” said Sanjay Mishra, MD of Air Rescuers Worldwide.



Beware of Fake Customer Care Numbers, Police Warn



Hyderabad: Cyberabad police issued an advisory asking people not to trust random websites displaying customer care numbers of popular brands. In a recent case reported at cybercrime police station of Cyberabad, the victim ordered sweets worth Rs.200 through Zomato App. “The victim noticed foul smell from the sweets. He searched for Zomato’s customer care number and dialed a mobile number he found on a webpage. It was a fake customer care number set up by a fraudster,” Cybercrime SI Gowtam said. Promising to refund the amount, the fraudster sought details of victim’s bank account, UPI PIN number and some other details. “After obtaining the details, the fraudsters transferred Rs. 70,000 from victim’s bank account. Customer care employees never ask for OTP, UPI PIN or net banking password,” police said.

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