Declining to grant the government five months to complete the process of procuring hi-tech ambulance services across the State, the High Court of Karnataka on Wednesday said it would monitor the progress as better ambulance services was the need of the hour.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Ashok S. Kinagi passed the order while hearing a PIL petition filed by Bharat Punarothana Trust, Bengaluru.
However, the HC said it could not compel the government, as pleaded by the petitioner, to invoke urgency clause in the Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurement Act, 1999, by granting exemption from inviting tenders for procuring new ambulance services.
The government had said that it was not in favour of granting exemption from inviting tenders as the estimated amount for the hi-tech services would be around ₹1,800 crore for a period of seven years, and it would like to allow participation of multiple service providers in a bid to adopt latest technology.
Pointing out that the proposal to procure hi-tech ambulance services would be soon placed before the State Cabinet shortly, the government had told the HC that it required at least five months to complete the tender process. The government also told the court that information on a simple facility introduced for ambulance operators to contact police control room on dedicated phone numbers had been communicated to the operators.
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