After a two-year delay, the ambitious project of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences — a 614 metre tunnel connecting the main campus in Ansari Nagar with its Trauma Centre — has been thrown open for patients on a “trial basis”, senior AIIMS officials confirmed on Sunday. The project will enable quick transfer of critical patients from the hospital to the trauma centre — from 30 minutes to just five minutes. Sources said that during the trial period, “suggestions” have been sought “for improvement”.
The 614-metre-long tunnel, work for which started in 2012, cost Rs 40 crore and is the first such project to be implemented in the country, wherein a road tunnel has been constructed above an operational Metro tunnel with a minimum clearance of 1.6 metres. Built by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), the “motorable tunnel-cum-surface road”, officials said, involved sophisticated tunneling through “the cut-and-cover method”. The height of the tunnel is 4.2 metres and the carriageway is 7 metres, excluding a footpath of 1.5 metres, officials said.
“The connectivity between AIIMS Ansari Nagar campus and Dr JPNA Trauma Centre at Raj Nagar has been augmented by the construction of a dedicated motorable tunnel-cum-surface road. The said connection is open for use for movement of patients, staff and services between the two campuses. The opening has been done on a trial basis, and in case any suggestion for improvement is perceived, the same may be intimated,” the order passed by AIIMS administration states.
At present, the ambulance services transporting patients from AIIMS main campus to the trauma centre — located on the congested Ring Road between Safdarjung Hospital and Bhikaji Cama Place — during peak traffic hours take at least 30 minutes. The facility will be used by the ambulances, hospital staff and the family of the patients. Officials said that as many as 10 patients are moved from the main campus to trauma centre on a daily basis.
Meanwhile, the AIIMS administration, sources said, has directed the chief security officer to provide “round-the-clock” security at all the entry and exit points, to ensure the “exclusivity of the connection”.
The project had earlier hit a roadblock after the surface connectivity from AIIMS western campus to the trauma centre, which covers a distance about 250 metre, had problems in acquisition of land. Halfway through the project, it had come to notice that the land did not belong to the DDA. Also, the tunnel which has been ready for over three months was yet to become operational as it was awaiting a “formal inauguration”.
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