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Monday, July 13, 2020

Between AFMC,Command Hospital,a ride that rattles bones

With the rains only days away,authorities claim the condition of most of the roads in the city is ‘okay’,leaving motorists hopeful of a hassle-free monsoon.

Written by Raja Menon | Pune | Published: June 3, 2009 5:52:19 am

With the rains only days away,authorities claim the condition of most of the roads in the city is ‘okay’,leaving motorists hopeful of a hassle-free monsoon.

However,a ride on the stretch of road that houses one of the most prominent hospitals in the country,the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) apart from the Command Hospital,is far from being-hassle free. Ask any patient who has had to travel to these hospitals and they would say the ride is a bone-crushing experience,virtually.

The condition of the Wanavdi Road is so bad that patients on their way to these hospitals often end up compounding their health woes. Sunil Mayekar,who was on his way to get treatment for fever,ended up in the orthopaedic ward. “A car hit my bike while I was on my way to the Command Hospital to keep my appointment with a physician. The accident happened because I swerved to avoid a huge pothole. I broke my arm and had to wear a cast for two weeks. I had to skip office for a few days,” said Mayekar. “The road is in a pathetic condition and driving on it is risky,especially at night,” he said.

Ajit Khare,a Wanavdi resident,said,“During the recent autorickshaw strike,I had to take my nephew,who had stitches on his knee,to AFMC on my motorcycle. At the hospital,we found that two stitches had come undone.”

According to Col Abhijit Rudra,public relations officer,AFMC,“It has been an accident-prone area for long. Of late,it has turned worse,with some fatalities occurring. It is one of the main access roads to both hospitals. Patients,especially senior citizens,find it hazardous to even cross the road,owing to the large volume of traffic and absence of speed-breakers,” he said. This is especially true of the Artificial Limb Centre,with many convalescing soldiers crossing the road throughout the day,always in danger of adding to their injuries.

Ibrahim Jaleel,an autorickshaw driver who operates on the route and ferries patients to both hospitals frequently,said,“Last week,I was taking a passenger,who had fractured her leg,to AFMC. It was past 9 pm and I had to drive fast since it was an emergency. As it was dark,I failed to notice a huge pothole. The impact was such that the woman’s leg hit the railing. I had to stop for a few minutes,while relatives attended to her,before proceeding to the hospital,” he said.

Staff at the Command Hospital said they were familiar with such instances. “The road is a threat to patients,especially those with fractures or stitches. There have been many cases when the en-route jhatkas have aggravated injuries and fractures. Those driving through it or crossing without taking utmost care could end up at one of the hospitals,” said a Command Hospital employee.

It has been a matter of debate as to who should maintain the road. “The area is not our responsibility. It comes under the Military Engineering Services,” said Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) chief executive engineer K V Shirodkar. Another senior PCB official said,“We are not aware of this. It is not even certain if the road is within the cantonment limits.” The board has temporarily discontinued road repair work,which,he said,would be resumed after monsoon.

Lt Col Atul Vats,Garrison Engineer (south),said,“The issue has been brought to our notice. We are taking initiatives to repair the road at the earliest.”

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