Ambulance caught in jam, patient dies
10-Minute Ride From Lal Kuan To Hauz Qazi Hospital Took 1 Hour, Family To Move Court Hauz Qazi, 3pm
were able to clear the way for the ambulance to reach Lal Kuan, but the trip to the hospital was a nightmare. “By the time we reached Bansal Hospital in about an hour, my brother had died,” said Nawabuddin, the brother of the deceased.
Riazuddin’s family is now contemplating moving court or requesting police to ensure that shops on the stretch leave at least room enough for a rickshaw to pass through and the Khari Baoli-Lal Kuan-Hauz Qazi road, which runs parallel to the capital’s red light district of GB Road, is cleared of its perpetual gridlock. Ironically, Nawabuddin pointed out, “A fortnight ago, Riazuddin had asked the shop owners association to make a plea to senior government officials for a traffic redress.”
Locals say that 8,00010,000 goods vehicles ply on the stretch between 5am and 2pm, even during school hours. After the Chawri Bazar metro station was opened, the congestion increased many times over, but no steps were taken to increase the width of the road.
When TOI visited the stretch on Saturday, one could see how at least two of the four lanes accommodated goods belonging to wholesale shops. “There are more than 20,000 shops here that receive cargo from outside. There are also over a lakh buyers here every day,” said Feroz Khan, a member of the shop owners’ association. “We have requested the authorities to put in place a system that restricts entry of different categories of vehicles at different times, but to no avail.”
The obstructions on the passages outside the shops frequently lead to accidents. “Last year, a goods vehicle crushed a 12-year-old while reversing on the clogged road,” said Mohammad Nafis, general secretary of NGO Youth Service Mission, which has been campaig- ning for the decongestion of roads in the Walled City. Every year, there are on-road medical emergencies such as deaths and deliveries, he added.
Nafis disclosed that he had proposed the deployment of a traffic cop to clear way for emergency vehicles. “We inform the police during emergencies to help us clear the way. However, unless there is a proper system for this, we are forced to rely on the availability of a policeman on the location,” he said.
According to police, a circulatory traffic plan had been framed in 2011to streamline the movement of vehicles, but the opposition to the plan had come mainly from the shopkeepers. The cops wanted to force goods vehicles to stop using the stretch at certain stipulated periods, only to have the shopkeepers pleading that offloading of goods was not possible in the time slots proposed.