Following Bal Thackeray’s demise, a city-wide bandh on Sunday ensured that out-of-town patients who had come to the city in the hope of getting admitted to tertiary care hospitals were left stranded.
Chunni Gupta, 60, a cancer patient, who wanted to get admitted to Tata Memorial Hospital in Parel had to wait at Dadar railway station for more than 24 hours. Gupta, who hails from Madhya Pradesh, was languishing at Dadar along with her family since Saturday afternoon.
“There was no means of transport to take us to the hospital. We spent the entire night sleeping on the platform. We haven’t eaten anything since Sunday morning. I intend to spend another night here and hopefully get admitted on Monday,” said Gupta. Even as food stalls at railway stations were shut, some outstation passengers flocked to nearby gurudwaras to eat. Close to a hundred passengers were left stranded at Dadar, Bandra and CST.
Numerous pharmacies in Ghatkopar, Sion and Parel downed shutters on their own accord. “We are covered legally under emergency services and cannot be coerced to shut down. However, if chemists are shutting down under pressure or on their own accord, we are not intervening as the situation in the city is very sensitive,” said Anil Navandar, general secretary, Maharashtra State Chemists and Druggists Association.
Public hospitals such as Sion, Nair and KEM kept their kitchens well stocked with milk and vegetables to feed patients. Renuka Kumar, 35, whose mother-in-law is admitted with a heart ailment at KEM Hospital in Parel, had to frantically search for food on Sunday afternoon. The public canteen at KEM hospital was shut and with no eateries in the vicinity, relatives of patients had to remain hungry.