Air-ambulances: Flying to your rescue on highways
Fast-aid service: NHAI plans helipads on national highways emanating from Delhi to ferry accident victims to nearest hospitals; starts identifying locations, reports Sanjeev K Ahuja.Updated: Apr 04, 2010, 23:47 IST
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is working on an ambitious plan to start an air-ambulance service and set up helipads on all highways emanating from Delhi for airlifting accident victims to nearest hospitals or trauma centres.
As a precursor, it has kicked off a massive exercise of identifying locations where the helipads can be built.
Three helipads have been proposed between Gurgaon and Kishangarh (Rajasthan) on the National Highway No. 8 — one in Haryana and two in Rajasthan.
Other national highways emanating from Delhi are NH-1 (meandering through Kundli, Sonepat), NH-2 (Faridabad), NH-10 (Bahadurgarh) and NH-24 (Ghaziabad ).
Helipads would be set up at a distance of 100 kms on these high-speed roads.
Urban stretches such as Gurgaon Expressway that already have a number of good quality hospitals all along it have not been included in the plan, NHAI officials said.
Chief general manager NHAI (Delhi Region) RK Singh told HT that all project directors on various national highways have been asked to submit names of locations where helipads could be built.
“We have not recommended helipads for the 27.7-km Gurgaon Expressway between RTR Marg and Kherki Daula as this is an urbanised stretch and has a number of quality hospitals with state-of-the-art trauma centres. We need helipads for the rest of the part of the national highways that do not have hospitals for along distances,” Singh said.
The NHAI has asked all project directors of various locations on the national highways to recommend suitable locations.
“We have proposed three helipad sites on NH-8. The only proposed location in Haryana is Dharuhera (Rewari) and the other two fall in Rajasthan with the first being just before Jaipur and another near Kishangarh,” said general manger NHAI (NH-8) Rakesh Gupta.
Gupta is also director of the project to widen the 225.60-km-long NH-8 between Gurgaon 42nd Milestone to Jaipur to six lanes.
Once the project becomes a reality, commuters who travel between Delhi, Guraon and Jaipur on NH-8 would benefit in the event of any accident.
Concessionaire company Pink City Expressway Private Limited (PCEPL) has bagged the Rs 1895.25-crore contract to widen NH-8 between Gurgaon and Jaipur.
Officials, however, refused to comment when asked whether NHAI would procure its own choppers or would outsource the facility to private sector firms or concessionaire companies.