BENGALURU: The Health Department is planning to scrap 340 ambulances across the state which have runtheir due course. A tender was called last year, but there were no bidders.
A couple of months ago, GVK-EMRI’s 108 ambulance service employees had gone on strike over salary issues, which had led to stalling of the service.
Now, the Karnataka Health Department plans to scrap 340 of the 709 ambulances which have developed technical and mechanical. Some of them are still in good working condition and running.
GVK-EMRI has been providing free ambulance service since 2008, but a section of the employees had claimed unfair treatment by the company. The tender period of GVK-EMRI also expires on February 6. For this reason, a fresh tender has been invited, but none of the companies are come forward to providing the service.
Narayan, Deputy Director of the Health Department said, “An ambulance can run for four years or 4 lakh km, and then they are scrapped. The department will replace 340 ambulances which were purchased in 2014-15 and remaining 369 ambulances, purchased in 2018, are in running condition. We have replaced 120 ambulances out of total 340 last year and we need to purchase 262 new ambulances. About 488 ambulances are operating now and the Cabinet has given the nod to increase the number from 710 to 750 ambulances in the upcoming financial year”.
“We will maintain the fitness of the ambulances, some of them are running with good condition. In two-three months, new ambulances will be purchased. A tender was floated in 2022, but none of the bidders participated. So, we have invited tenders again and February 6 is the last date. We have made some relaxations in the regulations and conditions and we hope, about 3 to 4 bidders will participate in the tender process. The employees are happy as minimum wages has been fixed for them”, Narayan added.
“If bidders do not come forward this time too, it will be brought to the attention of the cabinet and we will find a wy to fix the problem”, he added.