Home Administration State Care Saves 1200 Lives

State Care Saves 1200 Lives

Bhubaneswar: Once again Team Odisha, which is working under the 5T Charter’s guiding principle, has proved that they can quickly respond and manage any kind of disaster, irrespective of time, size and scope.

Within just few hours after the devastated triple train tragedy occurred at Bahanaga, a rural area of Balasore district, entire State Administration starting from the top, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to the Block and Village-level officials came to swing and saved life of at least 1200 persons who were injured in the mishap.

The locals of Bahanga area are the first ones who responded to the accident and started a massive rescue operation without waiting for anyone. This shows how the people of Odisha came together to help others, who are totally unknown to them. This shows a successful story of Odisha Government’s community participation initiatives in Disaster Management.

When the news flashed in different media, no one had a clue that such a massive accident would have happened. As a preliminary measure, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Satyabrata Sahu quickly ordered the local ORDAF team stationed at Balasore and the local Fire Service team to rush to the spot and join hands in the rescue operation.

After receiving information, IGP Eastern Range, Himanshu Kumar Lal, Balasore District Magistrate, Dattatraya Bhausaheb Shinde, Superintendent of Police Sagarika Nath and other officials rushed to spot to supervise the rescue operation. They all worked in tandem and saved the situation, said a senior officer of Indian Railways, adding IGP Shri Lal provided the leadership in crucial hours.

In a tweet Shri Lal said “This is #5T model of disaster management in Odisha. Through extremely timely mobilisation of 500 ambulances within no time, police, civil administration, ODRAF, civilians, hospitals, NGOs, doctors, homeguards, NDRF railways and all relevant senior officers and resources, more than thousand lives could be saved with the use of technology in the most transparent manner by a great team effort. ‘Every life is precious’. This is perhaps the best transformative disaster management model in the world.”

When the larger picture of the accident came to notice, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik asked Revenue Minister Pramila Mallik and Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Satyabrata Sahu to proceed towards the accident spot.  

Principal Secretary Industries, Hemant Sharma, OMC MD, Balwant Singh, Director Rural Development, Arvind Agarwal, Fire Service DG Sudhanshu Sarangi rushed to the spot and carried out the entire rescue operation throughout the night. Sanjay Kumar ADG Law & Order, Dayal Gangwar, ADG Railways co-ordinated the rescue operations.

Chief Secretary Pradeep Kumar Jena has been closely monitoring the situation from State Headquarters with coordination with all line departments and agencies.

A proper supply chain and management structure has been established immediately in the night. The Control Room at the SRC office started functioning with full capacity.

All required logistics like ambulances, flood light, gas cutters, cranes, DG sets, doctors, medicines, stretchers, etc made available quickly at the accident spot.

Not only the District Administration of Balasore and Bhadrak engaged in the operation, all other neighboring districts including Mayurbhanj, Jajpur, Cuttack and Khurda came to the rescue of the victims.

Sharing details of the massive operation, SRC Shri Sahu said he got information about the accident around 7.55 PM. As he was out of town, he reached the accident site at 11.30 PM. Other Senior officers also rushed to the spot at that time. The Revenue Minister, who was in Jajpur, reached a little early, said sources.

“By 12 at night, almost all injured persons, around 1200, had been rescued by local people, ODRAF teams and Fire Service officials. Then, NDRF teams also reached there and recovered the dead bodies,” ACS Shri Sahu said.

Within golden hours, the injured persons have been rescued and admitted in hospitals, he said, adding, the most challenging part was to carry out the rescue in the night. Immediately, flood lights were arranged and the entire area was lit, SRC, Shri Sahu said.  

“Due to a complete team efforts of Administrators, Police, Fire Services, we were able to save 1200 precious lives,” the ACS Shri Sahu said.

Expressing deep grief over the death of 275 persons in the accident, Principal Secretary Hemant Sharma said, “This was an unfortunate incident. But the death toll could have been much higher, if the Government of Odisha would not have intervened on time.”

As the ODRAF and Fire Service teams equipped with all required equipment have reached the accident spot on time, the lives of 1200 people have been saved, he said.

“Within the shortest time, we have made all advance arrangements like mobilization of adequate doctors, ambulances, medicines and other essential items. That’s why the local hospitals have been able to handle such a huge number of injured persons at one time,” the Principal Secretary Shri Sharma said.

The State Government did not stop after the rescue operation and admitted the injured in the hospitals. The State Government is now in a mission mode to handover the bodies to their family members and send them home safely and free of cost.  

The state government will bear the transportation cost of bodies of the triple train accident victims to different states, Chief Secretary Pradeep Kumar Jena said, Monday.

He said 170 bodies out of 275 have so far been identified in Balasore and Bhubaneswar.

Shri Jena said, “Arrangements for free transportation of the bodies by hearses to various destinations will be done to help the bereaved families.”

He added that death certificates will be provided at the earliest and will be sent electronically or through Speed Post to the families of the deceased.

The State Government has announced two toll-free numbers – 18003450061/1929 – to help those looking for their missing relatives who were travelling in the ill-fated Coromandel Express June 2.

He said people from across the country can dial the numbers to know about the deceased and injured.

People coming to Bhubaneswar in connection with the train accident are being helped by officials at the airport and railway station.

Photographs of dead passengers have been uploaded on srcodisha.nic.Inbmc.gov.In and osdma.org for identification.

Also 5 large containers with 40 capacity of each storage are kept standby at AIIMS. Already 3 containers have arrived on the campus of the national institute, he added.

The State Government has set up help desks at each hospital and each mortuary and officials are extending all required help to the victims and their family members, said Development Commissioner Anu Garg.

“We are showing them pictures of bodies and also a list of passengers undergoing treatment in different hospitals. If someone found their loved one is under treatment in a hospital, we take them to the concerned hospital. If they identify anybody, we provide them all kinds of assistance here,” she said.

Besides, arrangements have been made for accommodation of the relatives of the victims, she added.

In view of the disruption of train services, the Odisha government announced to provide free bus service to Kolkata for the stranded passengers. The free bus service can be availed from Puri, Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.

Transport Commissioner Amitabh Thakur coordinated the entire operation along with CMD OSRTC, Diptesh Kumar Pattnayak, said sources.

This facility helped a lot, those were stranded due to train movement collapse caused by collision.

In fact State Care came at a right time, thanks to V K Pandian, Secretary to CM, who relentlessly monitored the process, for which the Odisha Government received appreciation from various quarters and none other than the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.