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Official’s vow fails to end strike

Drivers and technicians of 102 ambulance service on Wednesday continued with their strike even as the government promised to clear their dues by Thursday.

On Tuesday, the drivers and technicians of 28 districts began their strike claiming they had not been given their salary for the past four months.

Members of Apatkalin Sewa Kamgar Union said they were in no mood to relent. “On Wednesday, an official of the HR department of Dr Jain Video on Wheels Ltd — responsible for manpower and maintenance of the 102 service — had met us to end the strike. The official assured us that our salaries would be given on Thursday but we have no trust in him as this is not the first time that the company officials are assuring such things,” said Pappu Kumar, a technician of 102 ambulance, who has stopped working since Tuesday.

Officials of Dr Jain Video on Wheels Ltd, however, claimed that they were not to be blamed for the dues. “We had an agreement with the State Health Society. We are yet to get around Rs 23 crore from different chapters of the Society. If had been given the operational cost of the ambulances on time, this kind of problem wouldn’t have occurred?” said Vishal Singh, chief operating officer, Dr Jain Video On Wheels Ltd.

Sanjay Kumar, executive director and secretary, health, admitted that district health societies have often delayed in giving the operational cost of the ambulances to the concerned firm.

He said: “Banks will re-open on Thursday and all the dues would be released.”