Mumbai : As the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) plans to make the Mumbai-Pune Expressway a ‘zero fatality zone’ in the next three to four years, the critical plan to start a Trauma Centre on the Expressway is still to kickoff. MSRDC is still struggling to get an operator to run the Centre along the Expressway.

Treatment of accident victims in the ‘Golden Hour’ -the first hour after the accident – is crucial as it could prevent loss of life.

Over the last year and half, the trauma centre at Ozarde, near Talegaon toll plaza, on the Expressway is ready, but the Corporation is not able to find an operator. The Centre is spread over eight acres and will be a Level IV facility capable of providing critical and surgical care.

According to senior MSRDC officials, despite several attempts in the past MSRDC hasn’t got any response from either private players or government run hospitals. “Whoever will operate the centre will have to be some organisation that doesn’t want to profit from this service as there is no scope for it. So far we haven’t got any concrete proposals or response from any organisation that wants to run the centre,” said a senior MSRDC official.

Currently, it takes around 45 minutes to an hour to transport accident victims to a hospital with adequate facilities. Officials said that once the centre is operational the time would be reduced by nearly 30 minutes. MSRDC also plans to start air ambulance service where a helicopter would ferry victims to the trauma centre.

“We are trying to get an operator. In the meantime, we have started ‘Quick Response Vehicles’. Four QRVs are in operation as of now; they ferry accident victims to a nearby hospital, and they have been very helpful in saving lives. We will also commence the air ambulance service soon,” said Eknath Shinde, Maharashtra PWD minister.

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