Chennai

‘108 ambulance service is not covered under RTI Act’

Spotlight on transparency: GVK EMRI says on its website that it is the country’s largest emergency service provider.   | Photo Credit: R_Ragu

The Tamil Nadu Information Commission has ruled that the GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI) that provides ‘108’ ambulance services in the State is a private entity and is not covered under the Right to Information Act, 2005.

Passing orders on two different petitions that sought information on the number of 108 ambulances, their facilities and the manpower operated by GVK EMRI, State Information Commissioner S. Selvaraj, who perused documents of both the parties, said he was satisfied that the organisation was a private concern and did not fall under the ambit of a public authority under the RTI Act.

In his petition, S. Anburaj of Usilampatti, Madurai, wrote to GVK EMRI, seeking to know its role and responsibilities in the operation of 108 ambulance services in the State.

He wanted to know the quantum of professional tax deducted from the employees attached to the service and where the same was remitted.

Another petitioner P. Baskar of Vilangudi in Madurai district had sought district-wise details of the ambulances. Among the 16 questions that he raised was a query whether GVK EMRI was a service organisation. Not satisfied with the reply of the Public Information Officer and the First Appellate Authority, the petitioners moved the Commission.

In both the cases, the Public Information Officer who appeared in the online (video) enquiry being held in view of the pandemic stated that GVK EMRI was a private organisation that was offering emergency ambulance services on the basis of a memorandum of understanding. The petitioners should approach the State Health and Family Welfare Department for details, the PIO said.

Mr. Selvaraj closed both the petitions saying that there was no need for further enquiry after accepting the arguments and documents put forth by the service provider.

GVK EMRI says on its website that it is the largest emergency service provider in the country and a not-for-profit professional organisation operating in a public-private partnership mode.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2021 1:14:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/108-ambulance-service-is-not-covered-under-rti-act/article33235381.ece

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