Jammu: It may sound strange, but it is true that government ambulances in Jammu division, which had turned into goods carriers, are running without insurance and registration Nos.
Sources in health department told that, under the jurisdiction of directorate of health services, Jammu, over 100 ambulances were plying on roads without registration Nos and insurance.
“Ambulance, a vehicle equipped for taking sick or the injured to and from hospital, especially during emergencies, are running in violation of the norms of transport department”, said an officer.
He said vehicles for officers “get registered and insured within a fortnight of their procurement, but these formalities for ambulances are not being fulfilled”.
“Most of the ambulances are being purchased by the directorate of health services, Jammu, and then handed over to CMOs. Since CMOs do not have sufficient funds for maintenance of ambulances, they too do not bother to get the ambulances registered and insured,” the officer informed.
He, however, said that NRHM had begun to get ambulances, which were being purchased by it, registered and insured.
A number of unregistered ambulances can be seen parked in the offices of some CMOs. Ironically, motor vehicles department had also given free hand to health department to violate traffic rules, sources alleged.
“Since ambulance is an emergency service provider, we do not stop it because it used for transportation of critical patients”, said a transport officer. He said it was the responsibility of health department to fulfill requisite formalities before using the vehicles.
“The government has engaged us under various schemes on meager salaries, so we cannot pay registration and insurance charges from our pockets,” said an ambulance driver, adding that they were putting their lives at risk by driving these ambulances.
When contacted, Dr Ajay Gupta, Deputy Director, Health Services, Jammu, said it was responsibility of CMOs and BMOs.
“DHS purchases ambulances with the help of State Motor Garages and hand them over to CMOs and BMOs”, he said, adding that CMOs and BMOs had sufficient funds for the purpose. “It is very unfortunate if, ambulances are being used without fulfilling formalities.
Departmental action will be taken if they are found violating rules”, he said.