Syed Rukaya

Srinagar, May 11: The High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh directed the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir to file an affidavit regarding the formulation of a standard operating procedure (SOP) for hassle-free movement of ambulances in J&K.

The direction came in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking the formulation of an SOP for hassle-free movement of ambulances in J&K besides immediate implementation of a traffic advisory issued by the Traffic Police Department.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice N. Kotiswar Singh and Justice Wasim Sadiq Nargal appointed Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir a Nodal Officer and directed him to file a comprehensive affidavit on behalf of the respondents, based on the inputs received from the various departments, so that there is unanimity and consistency in the stand taken by the respondents.

The bench passed the directions after Advocate General DC Raina who was assisted by Additional Advocate General, Asifa Padro suggested that in view of involvement of various departments, who may have different views, it will be appropriate that a Nodal Officer be appointed, who will give a consistent view on behalf of the various agencies before the court.

“Accordingly, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir will file the affidavit taking into consideration various averments, assurances, undertakings made by the respondents in this Public Interest Litigation,” the court said while posting the matter for hearing on June 7.

Earlier, a PIL was filed by an Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) White Globe through its chairman seeking directions for equipping all the hospitals in the state with modern high technology patient care ambulances and trained drivers.

In a petition, White Globe has also sought for removal of old and unequipped ambulances unless the same are certified to be fit for usage by competent authorities.

The PIL further demands setting up of a traffic junction module for better patient transport management as well as installation of GPS system in all ambulances.

“Respondents shall make endeavors for the updation of the patient transport vehicles by introducing the modern high tech ambulances which must be fitted with GPS and onboard critical care equipments while transporting a patient,” the NGO has stated in the plea.

Adding, “The said vehicles shall be accompanied with a trained staff who are in a position to provide the essential care and medical aid to the patients while onboard.”Directions were also sought for establishing a control room where ambulance drivers from all hospitals across the state can coordinate with traffic police for clear passage of ambulances.

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