HC concerned over delay in procuring hi-tech medical emergency response system

The High Court of Karnataka on Wednesday expressed displeasure over the delay in taking a fresh approval from the State Cabinet for the revised tender to procure hi-tech medical emergency system with modern ambulances, despite an assurance given to the court on August 31 that fresh tender would be floated within four weeks.

“We cannot appreciate the manner in which the State Government in proceeding with the matter of providing Emergency Medical Response Ambulances with GPS system although it is of utmost importance and in public interest,” the court observed.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum made these observation in its order during the hearing on a PIL petition filed by Bharat Punarothana Trust, Bengaluru.

The Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, had on August 31 said that Cabinet approval would be obtained to float the new tender within two weeks and a fresh tender would be uploaded in the e-procurement portal of the Government within two weeks from the Cabinet approval.

As the Government counsel on Wednesday sought 10 more days to comply with the undertaking given to the court on August 31 while stating that Cabinet approval is yet to be obtained, the Bench expressed its displeasure over the Government’s failure to stick to its commitment made to the court.

The Bench also observed that it failed to understand as to why the GPS system cannot be installed in the existing fleet of 108 ambulance services as the Government counsel could not answer the questions on how the Government would modernise the ambulance system.

The Bench adjourned further hearing by two weeks while hoping that the Government would act with utmost urgency in this matter of public interest.

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