The 108 ambulance services have been affected for the past three days in Khammam district of Telangana, reportedly due to a conflict between the employees and the contractor, GVK EMRI over not disbursing funds for fuel.
The ambulance drivers also alleged that the contractor hasn’t paid them salary for the past three days. While the district has 11 vehicles, only 9 of them are functional. Since Friday, a few ambulance drivers refused to operate as there was no fuel in their vehicles.
Speaking to NTV, the ambulance drivers said that they have appraised higher officials about the fuel crisis. However, they kept assuring us that they would resolve the issue, but did nothing for the past three days. They also said that a few ambulances were still operating.
“The authorities assured us that they will resolve the issue by tonight. We are hopeful of it,” said one driver.
The ambulance drivers gave a representation over their main concerns to the District Collector.
Howeverm District Medical Health Officer Dr Kondal Rao distanced the state government from the standoff, stating, “We have nothing do with this. The government can’t make an intervention in this issue. It is between the employees and the employer.”
“The issue has been on for 3 days now. Hope their internal crisis is resolved and the services be resumed,” Rao added.
In 2014, the state faced a similar crisis when ambulance drivers stopped operating after the government failed to release funds to GVK. At that time, 316 out of 390 ambulances in the state had come to a screeching halt.
Owing to pending arrears to GVK by the government, the management couldn’t pay salaries to its employees.
Following this crisis, the Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao directed the officials to ensure that the demands of the ambulance drivers be fulfilled and the services to be resumed.