Ambulance service severely affected due to muddy roads
August 17, 2021 03:11 PM NPT
KHOTANG, August 17: Due to heavy rain, the ambulance service in Khotang has been severely affected. Dozens of roads, which are operational in winter, have been blocked because of heavy rain. This has resulted in a great deal of difficulty for the ambulances to run smoothly.
The ambulance service that used to ferry patients in 10 local units has been affected. Pushpakala Bhujel, vice-chairperson of Aiselukharka Rural Municipality, informed Republica that the ambulance service has been disrupted in the district due to landslides and floods in various places on the unpaved road during the rainy season.
The ambulance service in Aiselukharka, Kepilasgadhi and Rawabensi rural municipalities in the northern region has been affected due to landslides on the roads. Similarly, the vehicles are forced to cross uncomfortable roads in Khotehang, Jantedhunga, Diprung Chuichumma, Barahpokhari and Sakela rural municipalities in the southern region of the district. Besides them, the condition of roads in Diktel Rupakot and Majuwagadhi Municipality and other branch roads of Halesi Tuvachung Municipality is critical as well.
The potholes on the roads have made it difficult for ambulances to take the patients to the health facilities at the desired time. In some places, ambulances are stuck on the muddy roads for hours. Lilanath Niraula, chairman of Rawabensi Rural Municipality, said that it is difficult for ambulances to operate as the roads are damaged. "During the rainy season, there is a problem of unpaved roads being damaged. This is an extreme problem for the people living here," he said.
Most of the 10 local units in the district are operating ambulances procured by Khotang Service Society UK, Indian Embassy, Khotang Service Society Doha Qatar, various donors and the local governments. In Rawabensi Rural Municipality, ambulances in operation were donated with the joint investment of the youth of Rawabesi living in Nepal as well as abroad.
Khotang Sewa Samaj UK had handed over seven ambulances to Khotang on April 10, 2010. However, the operation of ambulances available in the district is becoming inconvenient due to the lack of upgrading of unpaved roads. Khotang was once known as a district where ‘one has to get Rs 200,000 ready anytime’ due to the compulsion to charter helicopters to transport patients to hospitals. Tanka Thapa, secretary of the Ambulance Monitoring Committee, said that the availability of dozens of ambulances in the district has made the task of taking patients to hospitals easier.