Services beefed up for safe Diwali in Ahmedabad

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This festive season, cops, medical services & firefighters put their best foot forward

As Amdavadis descend into festivities during the extended Diwali weekend, various emergency and police services have rolled up their sleeves to ensure a smooth and safe time for everyone.

Many services have even cancelled the leaves of their personnel to this end. dna brings you the varied degrees of preparedness being exercised by them.

Two-pronged strategy by city police
The city commissioner of police Shivanand Jha said that they have devised a two-pronged strategy for the Diwali holidays. “The first part comprises patrolling and setting-up of check posts during the day and night time,” said Jha.

“In the second part, we are rounding-up criminals with records of involvement in break-ins, robberies and other property-related crimes. We will book them under the Prevention of Anti-Social Activities (Pasa) to ensure their inactivity,” he added. According to sources, close to 100 such persons have been booked recently. Jha said that most of the police officers were out patrolling on Saturday night since thieves consider Kali Chaudas an ‘auspicious time’ to strike.

Leave cancelled, fire personnel on their toes
The Ahmedabad Fire and Emergency Services (AFES) will deploy all its force for the week-long Diwali. According to AFES chief fire officer, MF Dastoor, 12 mini fire fighters, 17 fighters and 42 water tankers will be on standby for deployment during this period. The AFES’ 300-strong force will be on duty. Dastoor said that the leave permissions of the personnel have been cancelled till the day of the Hindu New Year (Monday).  “Having all our officers on duty will ensure that in case of a fire incident, adequate and immediate backup will be available in all areas. This is especially essential with high number of fire incidents reported,” said Dastoor.

SRP conjoins railway police for festival
With the holiday season, the number of people travelling to and from the city increases significantly. To ensure safe travel and maintain order at Kalupur railway station despite the crowd, two platoons of the State Reserve Police (SRP) personnel will assist the railway police there. The 55-strong platoons have been deployed in addition to the 125 railway police personnel.

“Diwali being the busiest time of the year at the railway station, we try to ensure that no one goes on leave unless there is some pressing personal reason. Due to the high number of travellers during this period, we had requested an entire SRP company, but only two platoons were granted,” said Kalupur railway PI PP Pirojiya.

Doctor on call for Diwali exigencies
Keeping in mind the shortage of doctors during Diwali and to help citizens, the Ahmedabad Medical Association (AMA) has launched a helpline for different zones of the city that will let the people know about the availability of doctors in their area.  “Planned telephonic consultation and immediate medical aid, if needed, will be available on the helpline numbers from November 3 to 9,” said AMA president Dr Vidyut Desai. This year, the initiative is being supported by 200 doctors.

108 personnel at hospitals, sensitive areas
Officials from the 108 emergency service have stationed extra ambulances across the city. “Based on past experiences, we have seen that the highest load of emergencies during the festive season in Ahmedabad is around the CTM area. Hence, we have stationed an additional ambulance for that area as well,” said an official. The emergency service has also added to the number of doctors and response officers to cater to the expected rise in casualties during the six days of Diwali. It has also put a technical team on standby for its ambulances.

“We are concentrating on government hospitals as doctors are likely to be on leave at the private ones. To ensure that is not the case, we have deployed associate supervisors at government hospitals such as Civil, VS and LG,” said the official.  Explaining the reason, the official further said: “Given the rise in incidents, it is imperative that ambulances cater to emergencies.

Associate supervisors at hospitals will help transfer the patients to the hospital and prevent the ambulances from being unnecessarily delayed.”

Medical emergency numbers
Shalby Hospital (Prahladnagar)     40203111, 9924023456, 9825022188
SAL Hospital (Drive-in Road)          66115649, 66115750, 9925195656
CIMS (Science City Road)                9824450000, 9825066664
Sterling Hospital (Gurukul Road)   40011177
Civil Hospital (Asarwa)                     22683721(extensions -1028, 1267)
LG hospital (Maninagar)                  25461380/81/82/83/84
VS Hospital (Ellisbridge)                 26577621/22/23/24/25/26