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SHILLONG | OCT 19, 2019:

Meghalaya Health and Family Welfare Minister, Alexander Laloo Hek said that the 108 emergency services will not be handed over to any other firm by the state government unless it terminates the agreement signed with GVK EMRI.

“The agreement with the GVK EMRI is still valid. The State Government’s hand on this matter is tight,” Hek said while speaking to reporters yesterday.

When asked about the expiry of the agreement with GVK EMRI, he said that he does not have the information about it in hand even as informing that he sought for a detailed report on this whole matter from the secretary of the Health and Family Welfare department.

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“I want make it very clear that the Government would have to terminate the contract with the firm if the services are not restored at the earliest,” Meghalaya Health and Family Welfare Minister said.

Hek, however, asserted that the State Government is pretty concerned that the people are being denied of this emergency services in view of the present stalemate between the employees and the management of GVK EMRI.

“The employees and the management will have to break the deadlock by resolving their grievances amicably,” Meghalaya Health and Family Welfare Minister said.

He, however, said that the department is doing whatever possible to serve the people in the absence of the 108 ambulance services.

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“We are sending ambulances and mobile units to attend to emergency cases,” Hek said.

It may be mentioned that more than 200 ambulance drivers and other respondents of Meghalaya GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI) 108 ambulance service have been on an indefinite strike for the last 19 days.

The strike, organised under the banner of Meghalaya EMRI Workers’ Union (MEMRIWU), started on September 30, with protesters demanding that the government immediately terminate the contract with GVK EMRI, and take over the emergency services.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma earlier had made it clear that the state government has no plan to take over the management of the 108 emergency services in the state.

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