Work for the long-pending white topping of road leading to Niloufer hospital, a stretch of 1.2 kilometres, is keeping ambulances from reaching the hospital fast in the event of an emergency, for the last two months.

Ambulances now have to take a longer route to reach the hospital. The dug-out road has been cordoned off, leaving no room for traffic flow in the direction towards Bazar Ghat. This has resulted in traffic congestions making life of local residents and traders difficult.

“Taking the Niloufer road is the quickest route to the hospital. The last time I took the road during an emergency with the siren blaring, it took me almost half an hour to navigate a half kilometre stretch, “ said M Basheer, an ambulance driver with Niloufer hospital. Since then, ambulance drivers have started taking the AC Guards road, a longer but relatively traffic-free road to the hospital.

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A supervisor for the GHMC contractor working on the project, who did not wish to be named, said: “We had difficulty getting permits from the traffic police due to which the work was stopped for two months. We also had a problem getting the machine to shred the tarred road. We got the permits just last week and have started work, but it will take three months to put topping on both sides of the road.”

With one side of the road closed, those travelling towards the Bazar ghat X road have no choice but to go against the traffic flow.”This has resulted in a lot of minor accidents, especially two-wheelers,” said B Varuna, a government employee residing at Red Hills.

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“We have been living here for twenty years. It’s not like as if this was an upscale locality earlier, it’s just that things have gone from bad to worse.The road is prone to waterlogging and sewerage overflow, but with this roadblock, we too get stuck in the traffic and have to leave early by twenty min to reach anywhere in time.”

Business establishments along the side of the road that has been cordoned off are also facing a loss of business.”Earlier customers would park on the side to buy things, but now there is no place for our customers to park,” said Balaji Ram, owner of Balaji Ram Singh general stores.”A few of us shopkeepers got together and approached the local MLA and government officials, but in vain,” he added. #KhabarLive