KOCHI: The dangerous state of the Palarivattom-Kakkanad stretch, which is one of the busiest stretches in the city, has affected the movement of ambulances too. They now take an extra 20 minutes to maneuver this stretch.
According to the All Kerala Ambulance Drivers and Owners Association district president Dennis Paul, the stretch is turning out to be a headache. “Before the roads became dilapidated, we needed just five minutes to traverse the stretch and it was one of the frequent roads we took as well. However, the present situation is that we need at least 20 minutes to cover it,” said Dennis.
However, it still is extremely perilous because the huge potholes make the ride bumpy. “We move very slowly but even then it is dangerous. If the patient is an accident victim with injuries on the bone or spine, then the journey can aggravate it. Many times it was sheer luck that the patients didn’t die,” added Dennis.
Sometimes, the drivers are forced to take an alternative route so that they can save time and energy. “We intentionally opt for the Irumbanam route to avoid the mess that the Palarivattom-Kakkanad road is,” says Dennis. According to Vinod Nair, operations manager at Aster Medcity, the situation turns grave if it is a trauma case.
“The ambulance is itself a sophisticated vehicle but it is not possible to rush through the route. In any given situation, we lose at least 10 valuable minutes,” he said.IMA president Dr Junaid Rahman said a delay can be critical in cases like this.
“If it is a cardiac arrest, even a minute’s delay can be very crucial. This is beside the pollution the stretch contributes. Automobile pollution is at its peak on this tattered road. Pedestrians also have to battle the dust,” said Dr Rahman.
‘Technical hurdles’ that derailed work
- If the Metro’s extension commences as per plan, there will be trenching of the stretch in the middle of next year and this will end up in wasting money.
- As per the BMBC road construction the contractor should provide a minimum of four years guarantee. If the Metro commences its work the road has to be trenched.
- Based on that, the PWD dropped the re-taring and moved to the patchwork.
- The Minister had also directed the PWD to not to initiate any road repairing job during the monsoon and this also delayed in initiating the tender work.
- Though the PWD invited tender for the patchwork, no one participated in it. This forced the department to go re-tender process.