Ambulance corridor still a distant dream in Odisha capital

Bhubaneswar: Four years after the Commissionerate Police proposed to design a green corridor in Bhubaneswar for hassle-free movement of ambulances, the project is yet to see light of day.

Many lives have been claimed due to obstruction in movement of emergency vehicles and ambulances and many police commissioners have been reshuffled during the period. However, no initiative has been taken up by the government and the project still appears a distant dream in the city.

In 2015, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had formed a committee and a sub-committee to formulate plan for setting up a green corridor for movement of ambulances on the roads in traffic congested city. While a panel was set up comprising officials of Commissionerate police, NHAI, Public Works and BMC as members, the sub-panel had the members from private hospitals, police, IT and 108 Ambulance services.

Media reports said that after several meetings, it was decided to install GPS in private ambulances for which the vehicles can move freely without hindrance with help of police control room.

However, the question raised on the steps taken by the government on basis of the committee reports for a dedicated corridor following an incident on Tuesday when a 5-year-old boy carried in ambulance died due to alleged traffic jam.

According to reports, the patient was being shifted from the Capital Hospital to a private hospital after his condition deteriorated. The ambulance got stuck in a traffic and took over an hour to travel a 13-km stretch on Jaydev Vihar-Nandankanan road that proved fatal for the ailing child.

Sources said that the life of the patient could have been saved if there had been a dedicated passage for ambulances.

Notably, there are 120 private ambulances and more than eight 108 Ambulances plying on the city road. While the 108 Ambulances are already equipped with GPS system, the committees had stressed on installing the satellite-based radionavigation system in the private ambulances.

Currently, the special corridor on roads exists in cities like Chennai, Bengaluru and Gurgaon for hassle-free movement of the ambulances as well as other vehicles providing emergency services to reach the hospitals for timely medical attention.

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