THENI: With no 108 ambulances stationed in the town panchayat, it took around two hours for shifting an injured person to a hospital in Theni on April 16. He was soon referred to Government Rajaji Hospital, but he died on the way, said sources. This is not a one-off incident, say residents. Devadanapatti Town panchayat has been reeling under a severe crisis in the last two years due to the unavailability of 108 ambulances.
The urban civic body is located on Periyakulam-Ammayanayakanur Highway, and over 25,000 people reside in the six hamlets here. Ancient Sri Munkilania Kamatchi Amman Temple and Manjalar Dam waterfalls are the main attractions of the region.
"Devotees and tourists frequent this region and the roads are always busy. Still, the town panchayat does not have even one 108 ambulances. So, we request the district administration to re-introduce the service in Devadanapatti," the residents urged.
In case of an accident, the injured persons now have to await ambulances from either Periyakulam or Battalakundu, both 25 km away. This leads to the loss of precious life-saving time before the victims reach the hospital. Two persons perished on the roads here recently. "The primary health centre here owned ambulances previously. However, they were shifted to other places during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Hence, saving lives in emergency cases, including road mishaps, heart attacks and pregnancy, has been a challenge in the last two years. The Students Federation of India (SFI) members had submitted a petition to the District Collector in this regard. However, no action has ensued yet," M Kannan, a local resident told TNIE.
When contacted, Periyakulam MLA T Saravanakumar said he had just come to know of the issue and promised to do the needful. Collector K V Muralidharan told TNIE that he would discuss the issue with the Joint Director of Health and take appropriate action.