This hospital gate doubles up as a parking lot
Ambulances with patients have to manoeuvre through a narrow road where vehicles are haphazardly parked, to make their way into the hospital
VASHI: For the thousands of patients trying to make their way into the Navi Mumbai Municipal Coporation’s (NMMC) hospital in Vashi each day, navigating through the traffic near the gate intensifies their suffering.
The reason for this chaos is predominantly the haphazardly parked vehicles along the narrow roads in the area. Despite no-parking signages being put up, motorists continue to park in the lane outside the hospital, causing patients to have a harrowing time.
Also situated in the area are the St Mary’s school and college and a small church.
With hundreds of school and college students going in and out of school in the mornings and evenings, there is little place to even stand on the road during peak hours. School buses, private vans and parents who come to drop off or pick up their children only add to the traffic congestion, the effect of which can be felt for hours. Often, illegally parked two-and four-wheelers on both sides of the road have been found to block the way for ambulances.
“It is very difficult to get the ambulance inside the hospital during peak hours. There are vehicles parked on both sides of the road and at times, there is double parking. The little space that is left is full of pedestrians. The situation is very stressful for us when we a patient need to get immediate medical attentions,” said Anupam Bhore, the driver of an ambulance at the hospital. “People are very careless and park in front of the main gate,” he said.
Motorists who frequent the area said they were helpless because of the absence of pay-and-park facilities. “There are no parking lots where people can park, and this leaves them with few options. We are all looking for a permanent solution,” said Sujata Patil, a teacher at St Mary’s.
Residents, too, said they were waiting for a solution to the mess. Girish Shukla, who lives in the area, said, “Perhaps, authorities should restrict the entry of heavy vehicles on the road. Not only will this save parking space, but also help decongest the area.”
However, chances of finding a way out seem bleak. “There is no problem in the area, except when students enter and leave school. At these times, there are alternative entrances that the ambulances can use. There is nothing that anyone can do to improve the situation; Cidco should have envisioned the problem when allotting space to the educational institutes,” said Vijay Patil, deputy commissioner of police (traffic) “In the future, single entry roads should not be given to schools.”
The no-parking signs that have been put up in the area have had no effect on illegal parking outside the civic hospital.