Mumbai police has launched an initiative to raise awareness among the citizens about allowing swift plying of ambulances through traffic snarls so that they proceed to hospital without any hassles and patients promptly get medical aid.
The Mumbai Traffic Police's drive titled 'Make Way for Ambulance' was launched on Saturday by Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria with Bollywood actress Rani Mukherjee being the chief guest.
Describing it as probably one of the most ambitious and prestigious programmes undertaken by police, Maria said, "The entire might of the city police shall be behind the initiative to make it a success."
"Most of the time police come into picture when a person is dead. We would now like to play an active role in saving a life. We need to educate the citizens about the importance of the 'golden hour', which will ensure whether the person is going to live or die."
Making an appeal to the citizens to be part of the drive, Maria stated, "Life and death are not in the hands of humans, but at least we can play our part to ensure the medical aid reaches the patient on time. Let's take a pledge that we will clear our way for an ambulance whenever we hear the siren so that the emergency vehicle reaches the hospital faster."
Explaining the role of traffic police in the initiative, he said, "Ambulance service providers are requested to dial the number 8879221100 and inform the police whenever they fetch a critical patient. We will ensure that ambulances touch the destination by clearing the route it would
Mukherjee, who also pledged to give way to ambulance, said, "I am sure the phenomenal drive succeeds and should be taken up in other parts of country. I have come across such scenes where ambulances are stuck in packed roads in the city. Due to this campaign, I think there will be a huge difference."
Banners, posters and hoardings near hospitals and petrol pumps as well as important traffic junctions would be displayed as part of the campaign to educate how to make way for ambulances.
Joint Police Commissioner (Traffic) B K Upadhyay said that the right lane of a packed road will be cleared so that an ambulance moves quickly. "There are about 900 ambulances on the road on a daily basis, but we will escort vehicles which ferry those declared as critical patients," he informed.
The campaign was initiated in association with a charitable organisation Radhee Disaster & Education Foundation and finance firm Shriram Transport Finance Co Ltd.
The charity's director Rita Salva said, "Even ambulance drivers are not aware that they are supposed to drive in the right lane only and not in a zigzag manner to reach the hospital at the earliest."
The traffic police have also held several meetings with doctors' associations, ambulance operators' associations, as well as auto and taxi unions to ensure proper co-ordination with them so that the drive can be successfully implemented.
Road shows will be held at various places in the city with students holding banners, placards and leaflets that will seek help from citizens to pave way for the emergency vehicle.