Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Ambulances and Traffic Jams

I saw something interesting on the way to work today. Ejipura Junction on the Koramangala-Indiranagar Link Road is always a mess. Getting pass the traffic lights takes up atleast 10 minutes.

I was on my bike (rather it was Eva's :-), and I was waiting for the signal towards Indiranagar to turn green. The opposite side had just turned red when an ambulance arrived from Indiranagar. This being Eijipura, the ambulance was stuck behind atleast 10-20 cars. Just when I thought that the ambulance will now have to wait for a couple of minutes (unfortunately), something astonishing happened. The traffic cop at the junction, quickly turned off the traffic lights, and let the Indiranagar traffic to continue to Koramanagala.

The ambulance passed within a minute and hopefully the time saved was enough to save the life of the person inside.

Bangalore does not have advanced traffic control systems to prioritize ambulances and other emergency vehicles. I have seen a number of ambulances stuck at traffic lights or behind slow moving traffic. The cop really showed some good old fashioned common sense and did his job beautifully.

Good to see some humanity in the city and that the Bangalore of old (with its quintessential charm, hospitable people and charming manners) is still lurking under the "swalpa-adjust-maddi" attitude that overpowers the city today.

Myopic view of
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