RN Tagore & Sankara Nethralaya
The flooded road off the Bypass leading to RN Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences and Sankara Nethralaya is a guessing game for drivers as they are forced to slow down the vehicle or zigzag along the cratered road. The entire 200-metre stretch has been under water for the last two days and a small pump proved inadequate to drain out the water as the canal itself is overflowing.
The RN Tagore authorities said they were flooded with complaints from patients about the condition of the road and waterlogging. The hospital has written to the CEO of Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) and the commissioner of Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC). “We had written to the authorities last year as well and they had helped us out. This year we are still waiting for a response,” a hospital official said.The hospital, on its part, has arranged for two buses to wait on the Bypass to ferry patients and their families from the main road to the hospital.
Official speak: “We have asked the borough executive engineer to repair the road leading to RN Tagore hospital,” Sushanta Ghosh, CMC’s mayor-in-council (roads), said.
Medica & Vision Care
Vehicles entering the slip road leading to the two hospitals from the Bypass have to survive a crumbling and potholed surface before driving through a 50-metre waterlogged stretch. Cyclerickshaws refuse to enter the road and those who agree charge double the usual fare.
Ankle-deep water along the length of Medica Superspecialty Hospital and Vision Care Hospital’s boundary walls has made entry and exit from the hospitals a risky affair. “No civilised road should be in such shape, especially one that leads to a hospital. I have to come to Medica thrice a week with a relative who is on dialysis and have had a horrid time reaching the hospital,” said Amar Chatterjee, 64, a resident of Santoshpur.
Both the hospitals have written to the authorities several times but the CMDA and CMC have been holding each other responsible for the mess.
CMDA officials inspected the road after the Medica authorities wrote to them a few months ago, but claimed the road is now maintained by the CMC. “We have written to the CMC. The condition is really bad as there is waterlogging in front of the entrance,” said a source at Medica. He said the hospital authorities had arranged to fill up some of the bigger craters with debris and stone chips but even that had been washed away by the rain.
Vision Care has also written to the authorities. “But the road is yet to be repaired. There is a big crater in front of the hospital’s entrance gate and patients have a trying time,” said an official of the hospital.
Official speak: “We have received a letter from Medica hospital. There are some legal problems about the road leading to the hospital. We are looking into it. If the legal hassle can be overcome we will definitely repair the road,” mayor-in-council Ghosh said.
Fortis & Desun
The road leading to Fortis Healthcare and Desun Hospital and Heart Institute is ideal for a game of “spot the road”.
With no drainage facility in place and a pipe being laid by the CMC, stagnant pools of rainwater slow down traffic on the heavily corroded road as cars struggle to navigate the potholes and water.
Pedestrians have little space to walk as the roadsides are rendered out of bounds by the mud and slush. They have to resort to playing hopscotch to avoid the pools of water.
Richa S. Debgupta, director, Fortis Hospital, said the lane leading from Fortis to the service road had been a mud lane and the hospital had spent Rs 25 lakh to build a pucca one a couple of years ago. “There had been no waterlogging the last two years and the condition of the road was better but
this year, because of a pipe being laid, the road has suffered frequent waterlogging,” she said. “We have spoken to the other hospitals, schools and offices on the road and are planning to submit a joint appeal to the authorities for immediate repair.”
Official speak: “The CMC has dug up the road in front of Fortis. They didn’t even take our permission. Our engineers will visit the spot on Thursday and see what can be done. We can fill the large potholes but the road needs a thorough repair. We do not even know when CMC will complete work,” a CMDA official said.
Canal Circular Road
The only hospital on the Bypass that has been spared from waterlogging woes is instead riddled with craters worthy of the moon. The service lane leading to the hospital is bumpy and ragged. The rain has gnawed at the potholes, revealing iron rods beneath the surface of the road.
“My grandfather has been admitted for a femur bone surgery and the drive from the main road onto the service lane made us all nervous because of the number of bumps the car had to endure,” said Navin Verma, a bank executive.
The hospital authorities said they have been writing regularly to the CMDA, CMC and the urban development department for the last few years. However, widening of the Bypass and laying of tracks for East West Metro had apparently stalled repair of the crucial service road.
“The roads leading to entrances and exits of hospitals are most crucial as every moment counts for critical patients who suffer cerebral stroke, cardiac arrests and other serious ailments and injuries. The roads should be such that smooth and speedy entry is ensured,” said Rupali Basu, CEO, Apollo Gleneagles Hospital, Calcutta.
Official speak: “We will start repairing the service road in front of Apollo as soon as the rains stop,” a CMDA official said.