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Central Railway has shut six medical clinics operating at its stations after the Railways claimed that service provider operating them had failed to meet stipulations laid down for them.
These clinics, popularly called "one rupee clinics", were shut at Kurla, Ghatkopar, Wadala, Govandi, Vashi and Mulund stations and their premises were sealed by respective station masters, a senior official said today.
"We took the decision to shut these six one-rupee clinics as the contractor failed several times to meet the Railways' terms and conditions. We had given them umpteen notices to adhere to them," CRs chief spokesperson Sunil Udasi said.
The decision to set up such clinics came after a Bombay High Court order directed CR and Western Railway to set them up to provide rail-accident victims treatment within the "golden hour".
The HC order had come while it was hearing a PIL filed by social activist Samir Zaveri.
The Railways, while implementing the order, entered into an agreement with service provider MagicDil under the Public Private Partnership model.
As per the agreement, the Railways provided premises for the clinics at its stations with a stipulation that MBBS doctors would man them.
Udasi said that the private partner had failed to appoint MBBS doctors at these clinics due to which they were shut.
The operator, MagicDil, while admitting that they did not have doctors to man their clinics, however said that the Railways should have given them some more time.
"Patients were very happy and so far we have treated over 55,000 people and had managed to save the lives of 2,100 passengers after providing them treatment within the golden hour," Dr Rahul Ghule, the chief of MagicDil, said.
Ghule sat on a one-day hunger protest today at Thane station demanding that his firm be given some more time to appoint doctors at the clinics.
"If the Railways does not meet our demands, then we will shut all the one-rupee clinics," he warned.
Apart from the six clinics that were shut today, MagicDil currently operates eight more such clinics at different railway stations.