A little-known village near Bengaluru is set to become host to the country's first training institute to handle railway-related accidents.
About 30 kilometres from the Bengaluru city centre, the 3.32-sq ft village of Hejjala, off Bengaluru-Mysore Highway, will be ready to host the Disaster Management Institute and Safety village before the end of 2018. The project is estimated to cost Rs 44.42 crore.
"For augmenting theoretical classroom training with practical hands on exercise, a real environment for training in various conditions and scenarios of train accidents, a concept of safety village was envisaged," PTI quoted the blueprint of the project.
"For the practical training as a part of the safety village tunnel, cutting, embankment, other conditions and obstructions like overhead structures and platforms are being created. For carrying out underwater rescue and relief operations, a water body is also being developed," the blueprint reads.
The Railways are going to use old coaches, wagons and engines for the purpose of hands-on training for its rescue personnel. In addition, the centre will also have a virtual reality (VR) facility to analyse accidents.
"It will be just like the mock drills carried out by security personnel. It will be as real as it can get," a senior Railway Ministry official told PTI.
“Railways have a spacious land in Hejjala. Hence, the Railway Board had decided to set up the Institute there,” a top official told The New Indian Express when asked why this location was chosen.
While in 2014-15 there were 135 accidents, the number was 107 in 2015-16 and 104 in 2016-17.