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Pradeep Singh

Bhubaneswar: The death of a five-year-old boy, who reportedly lost his life while being taken to hospital after the ambulance got stuck in heavy traffic in Bhubaneswar has led to public outrage in the State with several asking as to what happened to CM Naveen's assurance of an ambulance corridor.

In September 2015, CM Naveen had said that in no circumstance ambulances would be detained on the road and for their smooth movement, special ambulance corridors will be constructed. However, the said project is yet to see the light of the day even after more than four years.

"We had then heaped praises on the CM for his announcement, but we hadn't ever though that the ambulance corridor announcement could never become a reality," a Bhubaneswar resident lamented.

On the other hand, ambulance drivers said that the patient carriers can never be helpful if traffic congestion continues. "At traffic junctions, special cordon is needed to make way for ambulances. The traffic spots are getting totally congested," said an ambulance driver.

Ambulances are often getting stuck in traffic and people don’t even bother about the sirens and horns, said another ambulance driver adding, “We request people to at least give way to ambulances.”

Traffic DCP Sagarika Nath on Tuesday shared a video from Japan giving example how people make way on listening to ambulance siren and said that the traffic staff is regularly told to give priority to ambulance and as a civilised society, it is the responsibility of all to make way for emergency services.

However, her statement didn’t go down well with the netizens as several questioned if the Capital city has roads and infrastructure like Japan.

Transport Minister Padmanav Behera said that people should not obstruct ambulances. "I will hold a meeting with the traffic police and ensure such tragic incidents never happen," said Behera.

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