• otv
Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: The death of a 5-year old child in the smart city on Tuesday for the alleged reason of the ambulance getting stuck in traffic jam bares the unsmart traffic management in Odisha's capital city.

This is not the first instance of an ambulance getting stuck in traffic. For daily commuters on roads of the smart city, this is simply deja vu.

But the traffic management had never given a damn to address this nauseating jam, especially for emergency vehicles. Though they took all care to let the carcade of VIPs or Netas have a hassle free ride,   who, after all, cares for  Aam Admi.

Even, the new Motor Vehicle Act has hiked the penalty to a whopping Rs 10,000 or 3-year jail term for one not giving way to an ambulance.

While the Commissionerate police in a very zealot way have gone after the helmets or DLs, they maintain a stoic silence over giving emergency vehicles a safe passage.

Why the Commissionerate Police didn't invoke new MVA here? Listen what this ambulance driver has to say,  "When traffic personnel come to know about an ambulance is approaching, then they are on the toes to clear the road and give it the way. But at times ambulance stuck in traffic because, the constable managing the traffic does not come to know about it.” And the roads are so jampacked that it's almost impossible to move ahead, he added.

Are the main thoroughfares in the Smart City so congested? The answer is a big no. The simple traffic mantra the Commissionerate police not following is it is letting the commuters occupy the whole space on city roads. The left side of the roads usually remain blocked. And the Commissionerate police is not invoking new MVA rules to charge a Rs 100 on such violators of norms.

Moreover, How do metros like Mumbai or Bangalore manage emergency vehicles?

Since 2014, Mumbai police have developed a strategy for emegency vehicles like ambulances.

As per the traffic strategy, all the driver of an ambulance would do is to make a phone call to the traffic police control room and inform about the route  the vehicle is taking. This information then were passed on to the constables across the route through the wireless system. The constables would then clear out the traffic on the lane dedicated to the ambulance and give it a unrestricted passage.

Moreover, the Commissionerate Police can also use the GPS-based internet powered automatic traffic signal system to make way for emergency vehicles. This system will not cost a fortune to the State government. Already, most thoroughfares in Smart City have been declared wi-fi zones.

The only work need to be done here is fitting GPS systems on ambulances and connecting them via internet to traffic signal posts. So that tracking the GPS, the traffic signal automatically rolls out a green corridor for the approaching ambulance by clearing the traffic.

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