Just two days after Chief Minister Siddaramaiah assured that ambulances will not be held up due to VIP movements, an ambulance ferrying a 60-year-old critical patient was stopped at Queens road on Monday, to give way to a VIP gathering.
At around 11.30 am, an ambulance carrying a patient, who had suffered cardiac arrest, was stopped on Queens Road. The delay was caused due to a traffic jam created on the busy road by the gathering of Congress leaders, including Home Minister Dr G Parameshwara, outside the KPCC office to welcome the new state party-in charge, K C Venugopal.
According to a doctor, who was present in the ambulance, they had stopped for eight minutes before the vehicle was allowed to pass.
â€śThe patient was being treated at Santosh Hospital in Frazer town and was being shifted to Mahaveer Jain Hospital as they had the equipment to treat the patient. At around 11.45 am, the ambulance driver, Vishwanath, informed me that there was a huge traffic jam and we cannot pass. The ambulance siren was blaring and I also sent an ambulance staff to ask the police to let us pass but they refused to let us pass,â€ť the doctor said.
Finally, after more pleading from the doctor, the police allowed the ambulance to move.
â€śThe patientâ€™s condition was very critical. If the delay went on for a few more moments, he would not have survived,â€ť the doctor added.
"The traffic police deployed for VIP duty at Queens Road did not know that there was a patient in the ambulance," said DCP traffic Shobha Rani.
This comes after Commissioner of Police, Praveen Sood issued a memo on May 5, instructing the officers to ensure that no emergency vehicle, especially ambulances with patients are stalled for VIP movements.
Observing that it is wrong for officers to close the traffic in advance and take time to restore traffic, the Commissioner states in the memo, â€śProviding smooth flow of traffic for VVIP in total disregard to citizens inconvenience cannot have any justification. There has to be balance between two and whenever an ambulance/emergency service vehicle is in question it should be invariably given priority even at the cost of slowing down VVIP movement.â€ť
On May 2, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's convoy sparked a controversy, when an ambulance was stopped for a few minutes to make way for his convoy, which was entering Ravindra Kalakeshtra for Bhagiratha Jayanthi celebrations on JC road at around 6.45 pm.
As the CM drew flak over his "VIP culture", Siddaramaiah on May 4, directed the Bengaluru police not to block any ambulance to make way for his convoy.
â€śI was not aware of the incident (of traffic police stopping an ambulance). I learnt about it from the media reports. I had directed the police not to stop ambulances. Still the incident has happened unexpectedly,â€ť Siddaramaiah told media persons.
This is not the first time Karnataka Chief Ministerâ€™s convoy stopped ambulance movement. In February, a similar incident occurred in Hoskote, when an ambulance with a critical patient on board was stopped for 30 minutes to make way for the CM's convoy.