11 new ambulances worth Rs 1.10 crore rot at State Motor Garages

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Bought in August 2014, Health Deptt yet to commission them

Srinagar: In a glaring example of the sorry state of affairs in the health department, at least 11 ambulances worth Rs1.10 crore are lying unused at the State Motor Garages Jammu and Kashmir.

The ambulances purchased by the Directorate of Health Services Kashmir through State Motor Garages have not been put to use since  nine months. An investigation has shown that 11 vehicles are at the workshop of State Motor Garages.

Insiders said that the Health Department purchased around 11 ambulances nine months ago and ever since they are lying unattended. One of the top officials of the SMG said that though several times they communicated to the Directorate of Health to take the ambulances in their possession they never paid any heed.

“In August 2014 we purchased 11 ambulances on the requisition of Health Department but we fail to understand  why department does not commission the vehicles,” he said.

Sources in the Health Department said that most of the valley hospitals are facing shortage of ambulances as the vehicles are not available. “The shortage of ambulances in hospitals forces patients to hire taxis at exorbitant rates to reach hospital or head back home. Instead of letting the ambulances rot inside a SMG compound so many people could have been helped had these ambulances been commissioned”, said a senior Health Department official on the condition of anonymity.

According to sources, purchase of these ambulances was made during the tenure of the former Health Minister Sham Lal Sharma.

“Each vehicle costs Rs 10 Lakh approximately making the total unutilized sum around Rs 1.10 crore,” sources said.

Sources further said that the ambulances are without number plates and even the chassis number or the registration number is not written on the vehicles.

Despite repeated attempts Director Health Services Kashmir did not pick up the phone.KNS

8 ASL ambulances

Srinagar: Minister for Health and Medical Education Chaudhury Lal Singh today said the government is taking various steps for revival of health sector in the state which includes deployment of manpower in remote areas and procurement of Advanced Life Support Systemambulances.

The Minister said that eight advanced life support system ambulances, 4 each for Srinagar and Jammu, shall be procured during the current financial year which can be provided to the needy by just dialing the number 108.

 

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