The Hyderabad High Court on Thursday upheld the decision of the Andhra Pradesh government to handover a contract to run the 108 ambulance services to another consortium in the state's 13 districts. The services will now officially be operated by BVG India-UK Specialist Ambulance Services (UKSAS) consortium.
The court was hearing a petition filed by GVK Emergency Management Research, which had challenged the order of single judge, ruling in favour of the state government.
GVK claimed that the consortium did not have the requisite three years of experience in the operation of “Pre-Hospital Emergency Response Service" as required under the eligibility criteria of Request for Proposal (RFP), Deccan Chronicle reported.
The single judge had dismissed the petition, stating that there was no bias in the selection process. The two-judge bench concurred with the earlier findings of the single judge, the DC report adds.
The Times of India reported that immediately after the bench pronounced its order, the GVK counsel urged it to suspend the judgement for 15 days, so that they could approach the Supreme Court.
However, this request was not accepted, which means that the consortium will immediately take over 108 services in Andhra Pradesh.
The fight has been ongoing, for more than a year, since the Andhra Pradesh government called for tenders. The five-year contract between the state and the company had ended in September 2016.
“The government of Andhra Pradesh has floated recently a tender for selecting a new bidder for providing the ‘108’ emergency service and selected consortium of the BVG and the UKSAS. There have been allegations on the short-listed bidder, as they do not have adequate technical capabilities as per the eligibility criteria prescribed by the government,” K Krishnam Raju, Director of the GVK EMRI told The Hindu at the time.
According to the GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute (GVK EMRI) website, the company operates more than 7,000 ambulances in partnership with the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Assam, Meghalaya, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Arunachal Pradesh & 2 Union Territories (Daman & Diu, Dadra & Nagar Haveli).