News : Highway Mishap? Dial 102 for Jelp
Patna, India, Feb, 2018 -- The ambulances that would operate on the national highways would be run under the 102 service till the National Highways Authority of India sets up a separate call centre.
A memorandum of understanding signed between the State Health Society Bihar and the highways authority on Monday promises the state 40 ambulances on the national highways to deal with road accident victims.
Forty ambulances will be stationed on the national highways as part of the deal and the NHAI will provide Bihar government Rs 7 crore a year for five years to run them. The ambulances would be equipped with life-saving instruments and medicines.
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Lokesh Kumar Singh, executive director, State Health Society Bihar, said the ambulances would operate as 102 ambulances - a state government service. "We have learnt that the NHAI is considering setting up a different call centre which would be linked to these ambulances but till the new system arrives, we would run the ambulances under the 102 call centre," he said.
According to data shared by various state governments with a Supreme Court-appointed panel on road safety in 2017, Bihar registered an increase of 378 road deaths in January-September 2017 against the same period in 2016. Altogether 3,733 people had died in road accidents between January and September in 2016, which increased to 4,111 in the same period in 2017.
"Altogether 40 ambulances would be stationed on the national highways every 50km to cater to road-accident victims. The NHAI would provide the health department funds for the ambulances while we will run the ambulances," said Lokesh Kumar Singh, executive director, State Health Society Bihar. "According to the five-year contract, every year Rs 7 crore has to be provided for the operation of the ambulances on national highways."
Health minister Mangal Pandey said the deal will save many lives otherwise lost in road accidents. "People can call on the call centre for the ambulances, while the ambulances would also patrol to look out for any case of medical emergency. Accident victims will be rushed to the nearest hospital in the ambulances after the personnel provide victims basic medical aid," he said.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About National Highways Authority of India:
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is an autonomous agency of the Government of India, responsible for management of a network of over 70,000 km of National Highways in India. It is a nodal agency of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. The current chairman of the NHAI is Rajinder Pal Singh.
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