Courtesy: Cariz Magazine
The Woodstock Foodmall and Heliport is the country’s first privatized Heliport along with a modern foodcourt set-up located 4.5 kms from the Pune toll towards Mumbai along the Mumbai – Pune Expressway in the district of Pune, Maharashtra. The recently launched Woodstock Helicopters Pvt. Ltd. (WHPL), is the brainchild of brothers, Aru and Sheet Raghuvanshi, along with Captain Pritish Mahindre.
With this perfect combination of a Pilot and a Doctor under the same roof, the Heliport and Trauma Centre look like a natural progression. While the Foodmall is an endeavour to offer a gourmet experience during travel, the heliport is equipped with a IV-degree trauma centre in its premises to treat accident victims and intensive care patients. Notably, the combination of a heliport and trauma centre is the first of its kind in the Country!
Explaining why Mumbai-Pune Expressway was chosen for the Trauma centre, Captain Pritish Mahindre, Vice President & Partner, Woodstock Foodmall and Heliport shares, “the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, unfortunately, is a site for numerous accidents throughout the year. Between 2006-2014 – 14,748 accidents occurred out of which 594 were of extreme serious nature, 2547 were major and 6219 were minor. These figures are high due to higher average speed than regular highway around the Country and the non-stop connectivity between Pune and Mumbai. Therefore, such medical services are a necessity for the area and definitely the need of the hour.”
About the inception of the project, Dr Raghuvanshi, states, ”The project was conceived in the year 2012, when the State Government of Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation(MSRDC) -a 100% Government of Maharashtra undertaking launched a nationwide tender to set-up and start a trauma centre &an Air Ambulance service along the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.”
“The tender was awarded to Woodstock Helicopters Pvt. Ltd., and the infra construction of a level IV trauma centre building, twin helipads, helicopter parking and a hangar set-up was started immediately and converted into phases. In lieu of this public utility service setup, MSRDC gave Woodstock Helicopters Pvt. Ltd. the permission to start wayside amenities in the from of the Foodmall and a Petrol pump.”
Explaining further about the features of the trauma centre and Woodstock Foodmall, he states,” Woodstock Helicopters Pvt. Ltd. has constructed a Level IV, Trauma Centre building on the premises and handed it over to MSRDC in its day to day operations. The Trauma Centre would be equipped for stabilization & treatment of accident victims brought in directly from the accident sites on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and surrounding areas, either by means of a road ambulance, or an air ambulance. For the Air Ambulance, WHPL has readied two flights and take-off areas for helicopters(Helipads).”
Adding a cherry on the cake is the fact that medical services will cater to people of all financial backgrounds. Furthermore, the trauma centre will be open 24 hours. But the Air Ambulance services will be operational only between sunset and sunrise as per the DGCA regulations.
Coming back to the Woodstock Foodmall, Captain Raghuvanshi, adds,” the Foodmall is a 18,000 sq. feet restaurant facility, designed as per international standards, and is the first fully air-conditioned food court on the Expressway. It’s a self-service counter based system and each counter is run by existing restaurant owners from Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala. The very popular international chain, McDonald’s will be arriving shortly along with a pure-veg restaurant. Permitted to operate round the clock at present it shuts by 12.30 am and starts at 6.30am. Nevertheless, in the very near future, it will be operational 24×7.”
When asked if it was difficult to get a license for this unique project? Captain Raghuvanshi, adds, “The Heliport and the provision of Helicopter Emergency Medical-Evacuation Services (HEMS) is a pilot as it has not been created before anywhere in the country. Hence the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has already begum rendering required laws for such intricate operations as per the ICAO. The civil air regulation and HEMS are still in the their draft phase and are expected to be finalised within this year.” Continuing further, he states,” An Indian Oil Corporation Limited fuel pump will also be available shortly, which will provide Petrol & Diesel for road vehicles and Jet A-1 and Low Lead aviation fuel for turbine and piston helicopters respectively.”
As good things take time, the Trauma Centre and Heliport will take a few months to begin operations. Nonetheless, Woodstock Foodmall and Heliport is now rendering a luxe experience to people’s taste buds.
Courtesy: Cariz Magazine
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