Minister threat to sever ties with GVK EMRI

SHILLONG: Health Minister AL Hek has asked for a detailed report from the secretary of the department concerning the ongoing strike by employees of the GVK EMRI 108 ambulance service.
Hek also made it clear that the state government would have no choice but to terminate the contract with the firm if services are not restored at the earliest.
Speaking to media persons here on Friday, Hek said that the report has been sought to find out exactly what was going on with the EMRI service.
Expressing his concern over the dislocation of services which has affected people, he said that the government was concerned with the agency which has been assigned the responsibility of running the service.
“We are not directly concerned with the employees but with the service,” he said.
He also said that the government is currently unable to hand over the service to any other firm until the agreement with GVK EMRI is terminated.
Lamenting the fact that common people are the ones who are affected, Hek said that the department is doing whatever is in its power in the absence of the 108 service.
“We are sending ambulances and mobile units to attend to emergency cases,” Hek said.
He also stressed on the need for the management and staff to come up with a permanent solution in order to resolve the matter once and all.
It may be mentioned that more than 200 ambulance drivers and other respondents of the Meghalaya GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI) 108 ambulance service have been on indefinite strike for the past 19 days.
Organised under the banner of the Meghalaya EMRI Workers’ Union (MEMRIWU), the strike began on September 30 with protesters demanding that the government immediately terminate the contract with GVK EMRI and to take over the emergency services.
Earlier, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma had made it clear that the state government has no plan of taking over the management of the 108 emergency service in the state.

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