TRAFFIC woes may continue unabated, but through 2016, the Traffic Police along with other agencies coordinated to ensure successful completion of 39 ‘green corridors’ — specially formulated route itinerary for ambulances where no red lights stop the vehicle. In many of these 39 instances, hour-long journeys from south Mumbai to the eastern suburbs were completed in under 30 minutes.
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There were 17 green corridors executed from gate number 8 of the domestic terminal of Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport to Fortis Hospital in Mulund. The 19-kilometre route, which may in traffic take up to an hour, was covered on an average of 18 minutes on the green corridor.
The quickest travel on this route was on April 28, 2016, when an ambulance completed the journey in 14 minutes. The maximum time taken on this route in a green corridor was on the afternoon of September 15, 2016 when an ambulance took just 21 minutes.
Milind Bharambe, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic), said the number of officials needed to carry out successful green corridor operations has drastically dropped.
“In the initial stages there were about 60 officers that were required but now less than 20 officials can manage traffic on the same route. It appears that the department is now institutionalised and the motorists are sensitised,” said Bharambe.
Maximum 96 policemen were deployed for a green corridor movement from a Vashi-based hospital to Andheri-based Kokilaben Hospital. On September 21, 2016, the 30-km journey that would be usually covered in 90 minutes was completed in 41 minutes around 9 pm.
The longest green corridor in the city was executed on October 26, between Jaslok Hospital on Pedder Road and Fortis in Mulund. The 38-km journey, which would have taken a minimum of an hour, was completed in 26 minutes around 3 pm.
“To ensure minimum travel time on the route, signals are put on manual mode, and all lights are on green for the ambulance. We are attempting to distance Mumbai from its reputation of stalling ambulances in traffic,” said a senior traffic department official.
Organs, such as a kidney or liver, must be transported to their destination within four hours, and in less than four hours in case of a heart or lung, say medical experts.
“The green corridors are a welcome decision. The faster the organ reaches, the better it is for these surgeries,” said Dr Gustad Davar, who heads the Zonal Transplant Coordination Committee.
According to officials, the ZTCC, Airports Authority of India and the Maharashtra government are finalising a pricing for private airlines to be roped in for green corridors and emergency airlifts.