Special Corresopndent

HYDERABAD: Arogyasri Minister Pitani Satyanarayana on Thursday expressed interest in the functioning of the call centre of the Emergency Management Research Institute (EMRI) that controls ‘108’ operations and said it was time the partners stayed focussed on strengthening and expanding its services.

Escorting the Minister around the facility, EMRI CEO Venkat Changavalli informed him that after starting operations in Andhra Pradesh on August 15, 2005 with only 15 ambulances, they were now covering nine States (AP, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Goa, Rajsthan, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Assam and Meghalaya) with 1,842 ambulances.

They were now serving a population of 368 million people and saving an average of over 150 lives everyday, he said. After visiting the control room, the Minister for Arogyasri, Health Insurance, 108, 104 addressed the employees too, spending about two and a half hours in all.