The 108 emergency ambulance services have been a huge hit across the country. Currently, the ambulance service is active in 19 states across the country, but Jharkhand is facing a curious issue.
In October 2015, the Jharkhand government had placed an order for 329 ambulances with Tata Motors and Force Motors. The vehicle manufacturers have got the vehicles ready, but the National Health Mission (NHM) of Jharkhand has not accepted the vehicles yet. The ambulances are still with the dealers.
The government announced that the service will be announced in June 2016 after fitting the vehicles with necessary equipments. Tenders were invited to convert the vehicles into ambulances, not once, but thrice and it had to be cancelled for various reasons. Now, tenders have been invited for the fourth time.
According to sources, order for 289 vehicles were placed with Tata Motors and 40 from Force Motors. The plan was to convert 40 vehicles to Advance Life Support (ALS) and 289 vehicles into Basic Life Support (BLS). Till date, the NHM has procured just one vehicle from Force Motors and 40 from Tata Motors.
Company representatives from Tata Motors and Force claim that the vehicles lying at the dealerships is leading to unnecessary blockage of capital and operational costs since the vehicles have been lying around for a year now. Also, people in the state are left without a choice for ambulance services as they have no idea when the service will be launched.