Come September, the Indian Railways’ (IR) first-ever disaster management village will begin its operations from Hejjala, a village located 25 km from Bengaluru in Karnataka.
This ambitious project of the national transporter has been undertaken across a plot measuring 3.32 sq km on a budget of ₹44.42 crores and will function as a virtual reality centre that will analyse rail accidents.
Spearheaded by the IR, this is a first-of-its-kind initiative, where an entire village is being deployed for the sole purpose of minimising rail accidents that have frequently been occurring across the country in recent times.
According to E Vijaya, the chief public relations officer of South West Railways (SWR), the training centre is all set to open next month. “Railway staff across the country will be trained to handle emergency situations. Training will begin for a few batches in September,” she said to The Times of India.
Besides conventional modes of classroom training, the centre also intends to create a real environment to train officials in various conditions and scenarios of train accidents. For the purpose of practical training as a part of the safety village, tunnel, cutting, embankment, and other conditions and obstructions like overhead structures and platforms are being created.
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Overaged rolling stock such as coaches, wagons and locomotives, along with various tools and equipment, will provide hands-on practical training. Additionally, a water reservoir is being erected in the ‘village’ site that will simulate underwater rescue and relief operations for the trainees.
“Such centres will help new staffers to quickly react during tragedies like train derailments, collisions and the collapse of bridges,” said Abhishek R, a rail enthusiast.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)