A senior citizen developed chest pain and collapsed early this month

On December 2, Chinnayya, a senior citizen travelling with his son C. Prabhakar, was at the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) bus terminal at the Kempe Gowda Bus Station (KBS) here on Platform No 6.

All of a sudden, Mr. Chinnayya developed chest pain and collapsed. Frantic attempts to get help from the public or BMTC personnel went in vain. There was no emergency medical help at hand at the bus station either.

Golden hour gone

The precious golden hour was lost and he breathed his last on way to Victoria Hospital.

An anguished Mr. Prabhakar wrote to BMTC authorities to provide emergency medical care facilities and also provide ambulance services at the bus station. “There could be many more persons like my father who could die because of lack of facilities,” he said in his appeal to the BMTC.

The KBS, which receives thousands of passengers travelling on Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and BMTC buses, does not have any emergency medical care facility. While a pharmacy at the KSRTC terminal is closed, the one at the BMTC terminal sells general commodities.

An emergency care facility at the KSRTC terminal, which was functioning some time ago, closed down recently. “There was not much response from the public and the services were hardly used. Therefore, we thought it is unnecessary waste of resources to keep dedicated staff at the centre,” a senior KSRTC official said.

In cases of emergencies, BMTC and KSRTC officials said, standing orders had been issued to the bus station managers to take the patient to the nearest hospital in any available vehicle, either bus or jeep, and get the first aid. Then the patient has to be shifted to the speciality hospital that treats the particular ailment. A BMTC official described Mr. Chinnayya's death as an aberration. “Our personnel attend to several such grievances every day [with happy consequences but] which go unnoticed. One unfortunate incident should not overshadow the good deeds done,” the official said.

Even though BMTC personnel are considerate enough to attend to emergencies, what bothers commuters is the absence of a dedicated emergency care facility at these bus terminals, said Viroopakshappa, a regular commuter on BMTC buses.