Mangaluru: A total of four 108 ambulances parked in the premises of Wenlock Hospital have now become an eyesore for the public. Even though the government has tried to auction these ambulances three times already, no one was ready to buy them.
These ambulances have already been run for over 5 lakh kms and their service was stopped nearly two years ago. Even though they are under the supervision of the district health department and not the Hospital, they have been parked at the premises, resulting in the reduction of parking space. This has resulted in a major inconvenience to the members of the public who have to visit from different parts of the hospital to avail health services.
Sources from the district health department also informed that over 150 such ambulances are present in the state, of which the Dakshina Kannada district has seven. While four ambulances are parked at the premises of the Wenlock Hopsital, the remaining three are parked at the premises of the district health office.
As these ambulances have been abandoned for a long time at the premises of the government hospital, this has resulted in the reduction of parking space and major inconveniences to the public. The people have demanded that the ambulances should either be shifted immediately or that the government should repair them.
A concerned citizen of the city, Sooryaprakash Bhat told Newskarnataka.com that, instead of abandoning such ambulances, they should be repaired immediately. "The public's money should not go waste. Why should the government wait to repair the ambulances? As there is no proper ambulance service from the government, financially-challenged people are forced to opt for private ambulances and paying large sums of money,” he said.
Speaking about the issue, district surgeon and Superintendent of Wenlock Hospital, Dr Rajeshwaridevi told Newskarnataka.com that she has already intimated the District Health Officer (DHO) to take measures to shift the scrapped ambulances from the hospital premises. “As these ambulances are being parked at the premises of the hospital, they have consumed the space and ruined the beauty of the area as well,” she said.
On this issue, District Health Department Transport Manager K M Bhat explained that the ambulances have been parked at Hospital as there is no space in the premises of the district health department.
High Valuation: No takers
The state transport department has fixed the value of each ambulance at Rs 85,000. Hence, the Health Department has floated an e-tender to dispose these vehicles. This valuation has made it unable for the health department to sell the ambulances as the bid received so far has only been Rs 55,000. As the auctions are conducted at the state-level the district authorities cannot make any decisions regarding these vehicles.
“The Road Transport Department has valued the ambulances at Rs 85,000 and bidders are not ready to buy them for such a huge amount. This fact has been proved as e-tenders have been floated three times so far, without a positive outcome. Hence, we have written a letter to the transport department again to fix the valuation at a lesser amount to ensure that bidders buy them,” K M Bhat explained.
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