Mumbai opens its heart for Team India & a lane for ambulance at Marine Drive

National |  IANS  | Published :

 July 5 (IANS) When several lakhs of Mumbaikars trooped in from all over to give a welcome of a lifetime to the T20 World Cup kings, Team India at Marine Drive, they also gave a lifeline to an emergency patient being sped in an ambulance on that very chock-a-block road. The ambulance, speeding from an unknown location to a hospital in south Mumbai on Thursday was probably rushing a patient to a nearby hospital when it encountered the ocean of humanity awaiting Team India. Unfazed, the ambulance driver blared the vehicle siren resulting in a magical effect -- the crowds seemed to move aside to provide a clear lane for the ambulance -- and it proceeded without any major delays. The Mumbaikars’ habitual discipline -- witnessed daily on crowded roads where ambulances, police vehicles or fire brigade are willingly and obediently given the right of way -- was lauded by the Mumbai Police which tweeted a video of the ambulance negotiating the route cleared for it. “Siren bajta gaya, Raasta banta gaya… Salute to Mumbaikars”, said the Mumbai Police tweet. Though solitary in the huge crowd surrounding it from all sides, the ambulance covered the Marine Drive distance, dodged the people and bypassed several other vehicles stuck in the jam, to safely move towards one of the roads on the left and disappeared from view. Later, the Champion Team India reached the same Marine Drive where the crowds had swelled much higher, giving some anxious moments to the police, deployed in huge numbers, after a caution call from Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and a public appeal from Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis. Several people complained of breathlessness, a woman fainted and was hoisted on the shoulder of a policeman who took her away, and at one point, the police resorted to mild caning (lathi-charge) to control the frenzied crowds. “It was one of its kind crowd and traffic management (today) with mobs milling and spilling over everywhere, waiting with bated breath to salute the Champions! But it was the Mumbai Police that batted through the innings and won the day for us and the city. Well done!” said Commissioner of Police Vivek Phansalkar. He congratulated and lauded the efforts of all the top brass, officers and staff deployed and involved in the bandobast duties last evening and thanked all Mumbaikars which ensured that it remained a special moment for our champions and fans -- “We made it happen together!” --IANS qn/dpb

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