EMERGENCY-Give Way Plz! Ambulances Stuck in Traffic Jam in City Put Patients’ Lives at RISK!
Mangaluru: With the increased vehicles in Mangaluru city, the Road traffic in many parts of the city is very bad. The vehicular movement during the peak hours or daytime will be dead slow. We will be haplessly hearing sirens of the Ambulances which get stuck in busy traffic. The situation is such that no vehicle will be in a position to give way for the ambulance. There are a bunch of motorists who are so ignorant, they don’t have any pity for the patient being transported in an ambulance, by not moving to the side of the road or try to give way for the ambulance. The journey otherwise would have taken 5-10 minutes and will take more than 30 Minutes due to traffic in the City, especially during rush time. One can understand the anxiety and tension of patients and their relatives.
Now that the lockdown has been lifted, the City is choked with traffic, and with Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) and Mangaluru Smart City Ltd (MSCL) projects undertaken at every nook and corner of the City, it is a nightmare for the motorists and commuters, to wade through the traffic jam. And in a growing city like Mangaluru, where the traffic jams are very normal, ambulances usually get stuck in the jams. I have been the viewer many times when the ambulance keeps on giving the horn but doesn’t get the way to overtake. It’s very sad that people don’t understand that someone may be fighting with life and has to reach the hospital at the earliest. And with this heavy traffic along with people movement that we are seeing daily in the City, there are very good chances that a LOCKDOWN could happen VERY SOON- and our CM Yediyurappa has even warned about it.
Last evening, I saw such a case where an ambulance didn’t get the way even the people were trying but they could not because of the heavy traffic there, near Bendore-well junction- and the traffic was backed up from all directions-those vehicles coming from Balmatta Road, from Kankanady side and those from Bendore side. With just one traffic cop who came much later after people/motorists were struggling to move forward, it was nothing but hectic and treacherous moments. The government, the district administration, or the traffic police admin should take measures to fight such a situation because day by day the number of vehicles is going to only increase.
“The two most important days in your life are the day when you are born and the day you find out why? ” – Mark Twain. My suggestion – Every major hospital in major cities should be provided with a helipad. Also, sufficient Helipads should be constructed in different locations for the helicopter to airlift the patients. Instead of road ambulances, we should have mini helicopter ambulances to transport the patients. This is the only way to overcome the problems we are facing today. Else, there should be roads marked for ambulances only. It should get connected to the main roads. Main roads should have a separate lane for ambulances. I know it is not easy like I said, but plans should be made, rather than wasting the road space for widening footpaths- which is nothing but a dumb Smart City project. And yet another project our beloved MLA Vedvayas Kamath and political honchos have planned is constructing Bicycle lanes, when there is hardly any space for the vehicles and pedestrians to move. Yet another dumb idea. Think of AMBULANCE LANE and NOT BICYCLE LANE?
This is really a serious problem in our City where due to traffic jams especially in morning and evening hours, the ambulances are stuck in the traffic. There is no easy solution. Helipad construction and heli-lifting is one such solution but that is to be seen for the financial viability though it should not be a factor when there is a question of saving a valuable life. The roads are also not sufficiently wide to give a dedicated lane for the ambulances. Ambulances are the most important thing for a patient and things should be made possible for the smooth functioning of these ambulances. They are life-lifting and soul-saving vehicles. And we can’t afford to get them stuck in a traffic jam.
While traffic jams are a massive problem on almost every road in the City, especially near Hampankatta Circle, Nanthoor Junction, Kankanady Junction, Bendore-well junction, M G Road, K S Rao Road, among others, but ambulances are important and it is necessary to allow them to pass safely to reach the hospitals. A patient who needs emergency medical care gets stuck in a traffic jam, think of the pain and suffering that he or she undergoes during this period. It is quintessential to streamline the traffic and stop hampering the movement of ambulances, stopping an ambulance in a traffic jam may cost the life of a person if not taken to the hospital immediately.
Why talk about BIG cities, when many times this happens in our own City-Mangaluru. The drivers will not give way to the ambulance even though the siren will be continuously on. Yet sometimes the other drivers don’t have a chance to give the ambulance the way and sometimes even though there is a way also he will not give. A good and responsible driver should give way to the ambulance as there may be a patient who is very critical. By giving way you are helping a person to get saved. Many times I have noticed this problem. But sometimes the ambulance will be in the middle of a traffic jam and it can’t move in any direction. To clear the traffic jam it may take a long time also sometimes.
To start a mini-helicopter ambulance is a good suggestion. But it will become costly and many people can’t afford this. Once you reach the hospital by helicopter, you may be considered a big rich man, and the bills will be very much on the higher side. My other suggestion is that the traffic conditions should be improved and lanes should be marked for fast vehicles and all the drivers should follow traffic rules and lane culture. Then there may be some improvement. But looking at the present traffic situations and the inability and inaction of our elected leaders, and City authorities, including Traffic police, there does not seem to be any solution to this problem. The ambulances are generally blocked to their destination by the traffic jams and the patient is suffering. Lifting by air only seems to be a solution but we have to see the practical aspects of it.
How could patients get timely medical attention?. Are there any alternatives for patients in avoiding traffic?- these are the two issues that need to be discussed and action taken quickly before life or lives are lost by transporting a person in an ambulance in this traffic-choked Education Hub aka Mangaluru/Kudla?.