Metro work puts patients at risk on Bannerghatta Road

Metro work puts patients at risk on Bannerghatta Road

An ambulance is stuck in a traffic jam on Bannerghatta Road where metro work is underway. DH Photo/Janardhan B K

The metro construction work along Bannerghatta Road is turning out to be a pain, in a literal sense, for patients wanting to reach the hospitals in the stretch.

Barricades, particularly on the narrower stretches of the road, gives little leeway for motorists to pass through, while the traffic jam sends ambulances on a long detour to reach the hospitals.

Metro barricades, for instance, almost blocked the way to the entrance of Fortis Hospital at Bannarghatta Road.

So ambulances go nearly half-a-kilometre long to get to Fortis and Apollo hospitals.

“I’ve to go all the way down to Arekere gate near HSBC to take a u-turn and get back towards the hospital,” said ramesh Nayak, an ambulance driver with Apollo Hospital. “Traffic at Arekere gate is erratic. The road clogs up at the signal and ambulances struggle to take a u-turn.”

Prathiba, a patient attendant, said reaching the hospital on time has become a challenge due to metro work.

Every minute wasted at the traffic jam would be riskier for the patients but the hospital feels helpless ever since the metro work began eight months ago, said Dr Venkatesh A N, senior consultant and HOD Emergency Department at Apollo Hospital.

 “The ambulances pass by the hospital, but they have to go an extra mile to turn back and get to the emergency. The “golden hour” to save the patient is lost,” he lamented.

He said air and noise pollution are only compounding the issue for the patients. “Most of the work is done in the night,” Dr Venkatesh said.

“Also, the metro authorities are not taking enough precautions. Recently, a delivery boy was crushed by the cranes used for metro work.”

Dr E Kumaraswamy, consultant and HOD, Emergency medicine, Fortis Hospital, said patients often complain about the time it takes to reach the hospital.

“They’re putting up three pillars before our hospital and are using diesel motors and water lifters are constantly used, which creates both air and noise pollution in the night hours,” he added.

Dr C N Manjunath, director, Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research, also expressed his concern over the metro construction.

“Two metro lines are crossing the Jayadeva junction and we’re expecting some mess here. I urge BMRCL to take the metro work one after the other, so that it’ll not be a terrible inconvenience for the patients reaching the hospital,” he said.

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