108 Ambulance: Vigilance probe ordered into allegations

Published: 04th July 2013 11:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th July 2013 11:41 AM   |  A+A-

The government has ordered a vigilance inquiry into the allegations that Ziqitza Health Care Limited, which is operating the 108 ambulance chain service, is overbilling by running extra kilometres.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy ordered an inquiry after his economic advisor Shaffi Mather wrote to him with respect to Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan’s allegation that Ziqitza was overbilling by running extra kilometres than required.

As per the agreement reached with the Ziqitza Health Care Limited, an ambulance will have to run 2,000 km per month and an amount of Rs 1,06,000 will be paid. If it runs additional kilometres, an amount of Rs 53 has to be given for each additional kilometre.

“The company misused this condition in the agreement in a bid to claim excess amount,” Achuthanandan alleged. He also alleged that the government was trying to help the company, run by Mather, Union Minister Vayalar Ravi’s son Ravi Krishna and Union Minister P Chidambaram’s son Karthi Chidambaram.

With regard to the clarification from the Chief Minister’s office that Mather was not the director of the company, Achuthanandan alleged that it was false and the Chief Minister was only supporting the ambulance service. “Though the company was running its services in 11 states, seven states had withdrawn the service after allegations were raised against it,” the Opposition leader alleged. In a letter sent to the Chief Minister, Mather clarified that he was the director of Ziqitza Health Care Limited till July 25, 2008.

“I hold 100 shares in the company which is disclosed in the Asset Disclosure on the government website (www.keralacm.gov.in). As part of my legal practice, I do provide legal advice as I do for my other legal clients also.”

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