• Woman carried on cot dies as ambulances refuse service citing bad road in Bengal village
    Indian Express | 19 November 2023
  • A 24-YEAR-OLD woman who was being carried on a wooden cot died before reaching a hospital in Malda district on Friday, senior administration officials said on Saturday. Family members of the deceased, Mamani Roy, alleged that despite pleading with ambulance service providers, none of them agreed to enter the village owing to the “poor condition” of the roads.

    The incident took place in Maldanga village. The distance between the local government hospital and the village is 10 km and a five-km stretch of this is a mud road. A video of the incident has gone viral on social media and purportedly shows the woman lying on a wooden cot and being carried by two men on a muddy stretch.

    “I am aware of the incident… Very tragic. Whatever needs to be done will be done urgently,” District Magistrate Nitin Singhania told The Sunday Express on Saturday.

    The woman’s family members said she had a fever since Wednesday. As her condition deteriorated, her husband Kartik Roy frantically tried to arrange an ambulance to take her to the nearest government rural hospital. “I tried for a private ambulance, cars and even toto (e-rickshaw). When they heard that I am from Maldanga village, they all refused saying there is a bad mud road here… I was forced to take my wife on a wooden cot. By the time we reached the hospital, she was dead. My wife could have been alive if we had a proper road in the village,” said Kartik Roy.

    “Mamata Banerjee should stop worrying about the saffron and focus on providing basic services to the people of West Bengal, ” Amit Malviya, co-in-charge of BJP’s Bengal unit, posted on X.

    Subhomoy Basu, district vice president of the ruling Trinamool Congress, said: “For the past two years, the Union government has stopped all funds to the state. Whatever happened is tragic and I assure you our party is with the family. We will also take steps to ensure that a proper road is made in the village.”

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