Traffic congestion becomes order of day on PGI campus
As per the official records, on any given day, 13,000 cars,10,000 scooters, 1,500 auto-rickshaws and 300 cycle rickshaws commute on the campus starting from 7am to 5pmUpdated: Sep 10, 2019 00:31 IST
Driving through the 1.3km stretch from Gate Number 2 to 3 of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) daily in the morning is not less than a challenge. The commute takes more than 15 minutes. Despite being one of the North India’s premier healthcare centres, traffic snarls on PGI campus has become the order of the day.
As per the PGI records, on any given day, 13,000 cars, 10,000 scooters, 1,500 auto-rickshaws and 300 cycle rickshaws commute through the campus starting from 7am to 5 pm.
However, the parking lot can accommodate only 3,500 cars and 20,000 scooters. Around 5,000 to 6,000 vehicles are parked on roadsides and other available spaces contributing to the traffic jam.
“The multilevel parking with the capacity of 1,400 vehicles is full and has no space for more incoming cars.Where will the vehicles go? When people don’t find space, they park on roadsides which leads to traffic blockade throughout the day,” said security guard Satnam, who manages the traffic near the outpatient department. Around 10 security guards have been deployed on campus to control the traffic.
Director PGIMER Jagat Ram said, “There is in general a need to decongest the campus not only in terms of vehicles but patient flow also.”
“A new multilevel parking is being set up on campus and for future course of action, we are banking on the alternate campus coming up at Sarangpur village,”said Ram.
A heart patient, Amit Malhotra, 47, said, “The emergency ward, the OPDs and ICUs, all the units are functioning beyond capacity and now, the roads are congested. An institute of this repute and lack of planning at the basic level leaves a bad impression.”
An additional professor at school of public health, Dr Sonu Goel, said, “The traffic congestion in the hospital can impact patient’s health as the air pollution is bound to increase. It can cause respiratory problems.”
The matter of decongesting the overloaded campus has been taken up in a number of official meetings but nothing substantial has come out of it so far, Goel said.
Exploring the option of cycling
“We have submitted proposals to the administration to encourage cycling on the campus,” said president of Association of Resident Doctors PGIMER, Uttam Thakur. However, a few don’t see cycling as a viable option.
PGI’s faculty association president, Dr JS Thakur, who used to commute on a bicycle to the campus said, “Car drivers do not give space to cyclists. Also, there are no cycling tracks on the campus. How can we expect cycling to be a viable alternative?”
Talking about the space for cycle stations, the PGI director said, a dozen cycle stations need to be set up on the campus.
The administration should allow the entry of only emergency vehicles, said PGI employees’ union president Ashwani Kumar Munjal.
Superintending engineer-cum-project director, central public works department, Sajeev Kumar Sao, said, “At the National Institute of Securities Markets’s campus in Bombay, the parking area has been provided at the entrance only.Connected corridors were constructed and electric vehicles were put into service there. PGI can also follow the pattern.”