Staff Correspondent

‘Arogya Kavacha’ scheme inaugurated by V.S. Acharya in Udupi

Udupi: Home Minister V.S. Acharya said on Tuesday that in order to reduce the loss of lives and properties during disasters, the State Government was planning to set up Disaster Management Committees at the district and taluk-levels.

He was speaking after inaugurating the ‘Arogya Kavacha’ emergency services scheme at the District Government Hospital, here. He also inaugurated the campaign to distribute Diethylcarbamazine citrate (DEC) tablets to prevent spread of Lymphatic Filariasis in the district on the occasion.

The ‘Arogya Kavacha’ scheme covers trauma, accident, maternity and other health emergencies, including accidents related to fire, law and order and disasters. Under the scheme, people could dial a toll-free number “108” and get the service of a free custom-made fully-equipped ambulance to transport patients to the nearest hospital.

Dr. Acharya said that six emergency handling machines, each costing Rs. 1 crore, had been purchased by the Government. These machines would prove beneficial during emergencies. Two ambulances would be provided to Udupi district under the scheme. He said that there was 30 per cent power shortage in the State. The third and fourth stages of the Varahi Power Project would be commissioned in December. When commissioned, the third and fourth stages would generate 230 MW of power. Due to the construction of canal walls of the first and second stages of the Varahi project, there was disruption in power production, he said.

Power crisis

He said that those who wanted round-the-clock power supply should not oppose power plants. He would urge Chief Minister B.S. Yedyurappa to extend the “Nirantara Jyoti” scheme launched by the State Government recently, to Udupi, Shimoga and Dakshina Kannada districts, Dr. Acharya said. District Supervisor of Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI) Nanda Kishore said that 517 ambulances would be deployed in the State in a phased manner by March 2010.

MLA K. Raghupati Bhat, MLC Kota Srinivas Poojary, Deputy Commissioner P. Hemalatha, and CEO of Zilla Panchayat Prasanna Kumar were present.