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Residents’ forum buys Covid ambulance

While the service is free for the underprivileged, those who can afford will be charged Rs 40 per kilometre travelled

Sudeshna Banerjee   |   Salt Lake   |   Published 07.05.21, 05:41 AM

An ambulance has been purchased by the New Town Forum and News (NTFN), a social organisation set up by New Town residents, to ferry the Covid affected.

“Getting an ambulance to carry a Covid positive patient to the hospital for chest scan or some other test was proving to be a big problem. This ambulance will take care of that requirement for New Town residents,” said Samaresh Das, chairman of the forum. It is parked at a building near Tank 12 and Akankha More which till recently used to run as an NKDA vaccination centre.


The ambulance has been jointly funded by BMRC Hospital of Barrackpore, whose owner is a New Town resident, and the forum.

While the service is free for the underprivileged, those who can afford will be charged Rs 40 per kilometre travelled. “We will also accept donations if someone wants to give more,” Das said.

It got deployed on Tuesday and made seven trips over the first two days. It can be booked by calling Arnab Banerji at 9230013001 or any NTFN volunteer.

Along with the ambulance, NTFN  launched a pulse oxymeter bank on Saturday. “We are requesting residents to give us their spare oxymeters so we can lend them to affected families who do not have access to one. Last night itself, we got a call from an underprivileged family staying opposite Techno City police station. All five family members were Covid positive and one had developed breathing trouble. A volunteer from Sukhobristhi rushed with his own oxymeter after midnight and taught them how to use it,” Das recalled.

Oxygen bank

The forum has also bought 15 oxygen cylinders, five of which they have donated to the NKDA safe home. “One is for use in the ambulance. Two are currently with patients. The others are being kept in houses of our members spread across the township for ease of delivery in case of residents’ need,” said Das.

The forum has also raised funds to purchase four oxygen concentrators. “They cost a lot more, Rs 60-65,000 each, but they do not need to be refilled,” he said.

The concentrators, once they are delivered, will be placed at the NKDA safe home. “The authorities have given us a room there.”

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