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Odisha Launches Boat Ambulance Service for Remote Areas

The Odisha government has launched a boat ambulance service to ferry patients to hospitals in remote areas at a cost of Rs 5.40 crore, officials said. Six boat ambulances, being added to the road fleet for now, will be part of the ‘108’ ambulance service. Two boat ambulances each have been sanctioned for Malkangiri and Kendrapara districts, and one each for Koraput and Kalahandi, a senior official said. While the first such boat ambulance was introduced at Batighar under Mahakalpada tehsil in the coastal Kendrapara district on Saturday, the rest will be made operational in a phased manner, he said. The service includes six boat ambulances and 60 jetties with walkway. The operational cost of the ambulances is estimated to be around Rs 90 lakh per annum. The new facility will become a sort of a “vessel of hope” for people living in numerous far-flung, river-locked pockets of the state, the officials said. In Kendrapara district, another boat ambulance will be deployed for Jamboo under Mahakalada tehsil, said Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) Biswaranjan Pati. The floating ambulances will cater to the needs of people in areas where the ‘108’ ambulance service has failed to make headway, due to lack of proper road route, he added. – Business Standard

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