Wednesday, August 4

Kolkata cops draw up plans to unclog R G Kar ambulance corridor

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Even as the state government has begun a feasibility study to ascertain whether an underpass or overbridge can be constructed near the R G Kar Hospital gates in order to allow hospital-bound patients and their kin an easy crossover, the police have received proposals for creating a special corridor in order to allow ambulances to enter and leave the hospital premises.

The matter came up for discussion at two Rogi Kalyan Samiti (Patient Welfare Committee) meetings and the security audit that involved health department and police officers. The Tallah bridge impasse has not even spared the RG Kar Hospital. With ambulances getting stuck in traffic, reaching the main gate has become a challenge.

The police said that they have now already created a “point-to-point” approach for ambulance. “We are working on ensuring that ambulances do not get stuck at smaller signals. So our man in charge of one signal — say half a kilometre from the hospital on RG Kar Road — sees to it that no ambulance gets stuck in his zone. At all cost, they are being given the priority. Once the ambulance crosses his jurisdiction, it is the next cop’s duty to ensure that the ambulance is given priority. This is to ensure minimum disruption. But when volume is too heavy, our plans sometimes do not work. But things will get settled once we tune in a few more minor changes,” said an officer from the Shyambazar traffic guard.

Sources said cops have appealed to ambulance drivers to use hooters only “in genuine cases”. “This is about life and death. We have asked ambulance drivers who are not carrying patients not to use the hooter. In a few days’ time, if they do not respond to the appeal, we might have to think afresh,” he said.

Cops said that a pedestrian crossover at every intersection near the hospital was the need of the hour.

A section of ambulance drivers has also started charging astronomical rates, especially in the peak traffic hours. Doctors have themselves approached walked the police to complain how they are missing important appointments with patients.


Source: Times of India

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