Can a patient in an ambulance afford a long hold up when the traffic jam is in place and traffic cops are nowhere to be seen?
In Surankote it does not matter as the cops do not take much interest in such fiascos!
‘Ambulance moves about with a siren and there is a reason for that. The vehicle is not a vehicle that carries picnic goers or those seeking fun in the expansive countryside. It carries a patient dangling between life and death and needs to be rushed to the nearest hospital for treatment. Obviously with so many vehicles on the roads with inadequate road space, chaos and confusion has to occur. It’s a normal affair but there is a department that has been specifically made existent for managing the traffic mess ups on UT Jammu and Kashmir roads and they are duty bound to ensure that the traffic discipline is maintained. But in places such as Surankote the idea prevailing and the approach followed is that of ‘carry on guys and create hold ups to have fun’. But what happens if a patient carrying an ambulance gets stuck up in this terrible vehicle conundrum? Imagine further that the patient is oscillating between life and death and has potentially not much time remaining, then what? Finally when the ambulance reaches the health care facility, the patient is rushed to the emergency section only to hear the doctor carrying out preliminary and later saying that the patient was brought in dead on arrival, then what? Hell has to freeze over with the people going berserk and what happens then we all know? But whose fault? Ambulance has to reach in time but if a traffic hold up results in an untoward happening then the blame has to be on the traffic cops. Incidentally this has happened before many times. May not have happened in Surankote but elsewhere definitely yes! But that does not mean that it cannot because coming events cast their shadows before is an old saying’!
The report I got was as follows, ‘it was a shocking incident wherein an ambulance got stuck in a huge traffic jam in the main market Surankote for hours together due to haphazard/illegal parking by some shopkeepers on the roads. In this whole dreadful spectacle local police and administration acted as mute spectators.’ To many it may look just another incident because it is an everyday happening on the busy roads but yet was not because in this whole messy affair an ambulance had got stuck up and there was no way that it could carry the patient in it to the hospital. How the patient finally reached the destination is a different matter of fact but the fact is that the traffic cops had to react because an ambulance blows its signature sirens in a hot and cold manner which it may be doing in the traffic ugly traffic jamboree which no one was interested to clear. Why not a fine on the traffic cops for not doing their duty in a disciplined way? But who would do that?
Ambulance is always a priority vehicle, it can shatter your daydream by its siren and the stripes before it comes to a stop. It comes with aggressive speed, the kind of sheer driving audacity that let everyone know the siren wasn’t a polite request to move. Every head turns to follow the vehicle with a blue streak, unaware of the precious cargo inside. It needs the cleared lane to move with breathtaking speed because someone inside is oscillating between life and death. Who exactly it is at that time is not known but tomorrow it could be you or me. So better do not hold it up.
I The ridiculous traffic mess ups in Surankote:
This is not a one day story because this happens almost everyday cars honk their way impatiently, an armada of army trucks move to their respective destinations, the smaller passenger carriers try to speed around, the merchandize buyers try to par vehicle right in front of the shops or wherever the space is available and the passenger bus drivers tend to stop at their favorite eateries so that the passengers can have their meals and the bus staff that includes the driver and the conductor have a free bite. The result has to be a nasty build up that leads to colossal traffic jams which stand fast for a considerable amount of time and in this if the poor little ambulance gets trapped then it is the patient lying supine inside who suffers.
You perhaps would be the unluckiest person in this part of the planet in case you get into this vehicle entanglement. I have heard many jokingly say, If you’re going to be in a traffic jam in Surankote which you will be, at least enjoy the flavor of the place and also the scintillating one liner that the modern man is usually in a hurry to get to a destination from which he will sooner or later suffer from and at times complain about boredom. Middle of the town, traffic in front, traffic behind, a big sign saying road works ahead! What do we do? What would an ambulance do? What would the patient do? But someone can if he is around? But in Surankote the men in all blues are not visible in such places because it is here that the painstaking work has to be done and it’s not an easy affair as the one big register on the bonnet and questioning the driver on various traffic rules and regulations for ultimately imposing a fine him!
The idea is not to question the ability of the traffic cops. There is something else to it. They have been deployed for a particular task and that ought to be taken seriously. They have to clear up their traffic mess as they do for the movement of VIP vehicles that go bustling at a nerve racking speed. Invariably an ambulance moves with the cavalcade to right at the end. Ambulance in a traffic jam carrying lesser mortals too have to be given a similar priority because a life in that also is precious. The person you are mad at for being late could be late. This invariably leads to a jam but the ones in Surankote are created because of some unfathomable nuisance initiated by humans and the reasons I have given above. Lack of road space, market mess , lack of traffic discipline and total indifference shown by the vehicle drivers are some of the major causes and the cure is the traffic Police provided they act well in time. But instead either they are late or in a deep slumber! By the way it is not a big enough problem, it can be sorted out in no time. Hopefully it will be in Surankote!