Kohima: Amid allegations that the recently procured ambulances brought by the government were “second hand”, the health department on Thursday evening clarified that the 10 ambulances are “brand new”. It said that the sale price of each ambulance procured from Uttar Pradesh was Rs 1.80 crore and the base price of each ambulance is Rs 14,06,250 with a GST of Rs 39,3750.
The clarification comes just two days after chief minister Neiphiu Rio launched the 10 new ambulances in Dimapur. “There has been allegation in the social media that the 10 Ambulances bearing Registration number UP32MN8012, UP32MN8013, UP32MN8014, UP32MN8016, UP32MN8020, UP32MN8022, UP32MN8023, UP32MN8025, UP32MN8026, UP32MN8028 are second hand,” a statement issued by principal director of Health & family welfare Dr Vizolie Suokhrie said.
As ambulances are no longer readily available in the market, it said that the government of Nagaland has been on the “look out to procure ambulances in view of the COVID-19 crisis and the 10 ambulances were procured from Uttar Pradesh.”
“The ambulances are being transferred from the surplus fleet of 108 Emergency Medical Transport Services, UP (East). Accordingly, the Ambulances were procured which are brand new and not as alleged in the social media,” the statement added.
Nagaland health Secretary Kesonyu Yhome told EastMojo that the 10 new ambulances have been allotted in all districts except Kohima. Through a briefing, principal secretary (home) also informed that for the purpose of transportation during medical emergencies, the state government have 99 government and 40 private ambulances in the state as on Thursday. As reported earlier, the Kohima Smart City Development Ltd has handed over two new ‘paramedic vehicles’ or ‘smart ambulances’ to Naga Hospital Authority Kohima to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, a top official of the state government told EastMojo that persons spreading the fake news “will be booked under the relevant Act(s)”. As on April 28, five persons have been arrested in connection with the social media cases. Earlier, the Nagaland police had issued an advisory for all social media users to do away with fake news and hate speeches urging the locals to abide by the law.
The state police had appealed the locals not to post, share, forward and disseminate any messages and visuals that could lead to communal hatred, disrupt public order, decency and morality. While the police had categorically issued a series of do’s for both the users and the admins, it also highlighted that violators will be punished under certain laws of the Indian penal code (IPC), Disaster management Act (DMA), Information Technology Act (IT Act), Code of criminal Procedure (CrPC), and Epidemic diseases Act (EDA), in case of any violation.