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HC appoints Div Com as nodal officer; directs him to file affidavit on behalf of concerned departments 

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PIL seeking European standard ambulances…

Srinagar: The J&K High Court has directed the Divisional Commissioner (Div Com) Kashmir to file a comprehensive affidavit in a PIL seeking upgradation of ambulances as per European standards and their hassle-free passage.

Acting on the PIL filed by White Globe, an NGO, Chief Justice N Kotiswar Singh and Justice W S Nargal appointed the Div Com Kashmir as the Nodal Officer, and directed him to “file a comprehensive affidavit on behalf of the respondents taking into consideration various averments, assurances and undertakings made by the respondents on the matter.”

The NGO sought for upgradation of the basic structures of the ambulances in Kashmir which are no more than carriers in which patients die because of the lack of basic infrastructure.

The NGO prayed that the carriers be upgraded or converted into European standard ambulances. It also sought coordination between different government departments, particularly the Traffic and Health departments for hassle-free movement and passage of ambulances so as to save precious lives and time.

The bench heard the Advocate General for the Union Territory of J&K who suggested that in view of involvement of various departments, it will be appropriate that a Nodal Officer be appointed. The officer said he will give a consistent view on behalf of the various agencies of the government before the court.

“Under the circumstances, we appoint Div Com to be the Nodal Officer. He may file a comprehensive affidavit on behalf of the respondents, based on the inputs received from the various departments, so that there is unanimity and consistency in the stand taken by the respondents,” directed the court.

This PIL was filed in 2018 through advocate Syed Faisal Qadri for upgradation of basic structures of ambulances as per the standards of the civilised world.

The petition sought directions for equipping all the hospitals in the then State with modern high technology patient-care ambulances and trained drivers.

It also sought doing away with the old and unequipped ambulances.  It demanded setting up of a traffic junction module for better patient transport management as well as installation of GPS systems in all the ambulances.

The PIL prayed “the respondent authorities shall make endeavours for the updation of the patient transport vehicles by introducing the modern high-tech ambulances which must be fitted with GPS and on-board critical-care equipment while transporting a patient.”

It further asked the court to pass directions that “the ambulances shall be accompanied with trained staff, who are in position to provide the essential care and medical aid to the patients while on board.”

Directions were also sought for establishing a control-room where ambulance drivers from all the hospitals across the State can coordinate with the Traffic Police for hassle-free passage of the ambulances.


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