<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Railways’ flip-flops on the specifications to buy high-end hydraulic rescue devices, to extricate trapped passengers during train accidents, gets even more confusing. While the railway officials overseeing the purchase of such devices had claimed that no manufacturer in the world could cut a 1100 mm by 1300 mm opening in the sidewalls of a railway coach in less than 43 minutes, it turns out there is more to it than meets the eye.One of the three firms that had given a demonstration to the Railways about their hydraulic cutters and rescue devices in 2016, where 43 to 54 minutes were required to do the job, had in 2010 come out with an advertisement that claimed the firm had managed to cut out such an opening on an Indian train in only nine minutes. The advertisement has been dug out by railway activist Ramchandra Karve who has also now brought this to the notice of railway minister Suresh Prabhu.As reported exclusively by dna in its August 18 edition, the railways had kept a specification of 18 minutes to cut out a 1100 mm by 1300 mm opening for such devices. However, a demonstration by three top manufacturers showed the time taken for the work will take anything between 43 minutes to 53 minutes. The demonstration of such hydraulic cutting capabilities, organised by the railway ministry’s Central Organisation for the Modernisation of Workshops (COFMOW) saw three multinationals, Netherlands-based Holmatro, Germany-based Lukas and United Kingdom’s Weber present a demonstration.The 2010 advertisement referred to Prabhu by railway activist Karve is of the firm Lukas. Dna sent a query to Lukas on this issue and the firm promised to get back with answers shortly.The story so far:1) Railways sets specification of 18 minutes to cut open 1100mm by 1300mm in the sidewalls of coaches for accident rescue2) A demonstration by 3 firms shows that minimum time for such work is 34 minutes3) RDSO during a May 10 meeting says it has no idea how the 18 minute specification crept into the purchase plans.4) An old advertisement of one of the firm’s claims that it made one such opening in an Indian train in 9 minutes.

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Railways flip-flops on hydraulic rescue device purchase to extricate passengers during accidents