‘Arogya Kavacha’ goes by rule, lets down accident victims

Special Correspondent

Its ambulance service is supposed to be extended only up to 30-km radius

GULBARGA: The much-talked about “Arogya Kavacha” and its toll free telephone number, meant to reach out to people in distress and shift them to hospitals, failed to provide any relief to victims of the Nalwar accident on Monday in which 12 persons were killed and 70 were injured .

Its ambulance service, run by private operators, refused to shift injured persons from the spot of the accident in Nalwar to hospitals in Gulbarga city and also failed to heed frantic requests of the district administration to shift those seriously injured to higher centres in Hyderabad and Solapur for treatment.

District in-charge Minister Lakshman S. Savadi told presspersons here on Tuesday that he was shocked by the attitude of the agency operating the Arogya Kavacha and would take up the issue with the Health Minister and the Chief Minister.

Deputy Commissioner K.S. Satyamurthy said the stand taken by the agency concerned was that it would extend the service only up to 30 km radius of the district headquarters. “I requested them to send their ambulances to the accident spot as a special case and assured them that the district administration would bear the fuel cost, but they refused to heed my request,” he said. The ordeal suffered by the injured who were taken to hospitals in private vehicles and buses and failure of the ambulance services operated by the Department of Health and Family Welfare was also brought to the Minister’s attention. Meanwhile, the death toll in Monday’s accident went up to 12 with one more girl, Sangeeta, succumbing to injuries in the early hours of Monday in Basaveshwar Teaching and General Hospital. Officials of the the Department of Health and Family Welfare were not aware of the condition of the five seriously-injured patients shifted to Solapur.

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