India assisted ambulance service in Sri Lanka to get grants from TATA India, ADB

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Colombo, Jul 10 (PTI) The ambulance service in Sri Lanka assisted by India is to get a boost with grants from Tata India and the ADB to augment their services, the government announced on Wednesday.

‘Suwaseriya’ was initiated in 2016 with 297 ambulances obtained from TATA India under an Indian government grant. It was later increased to 322 with ambulances added by Sri Lanka providing pre-hospital emergency care.

The Cabinet approved a proposal to obtain the grants.

“...TATA Sons (Pvt) Ltd has agreed to provide 50 ambulances as a grant while the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to provide 45 ambulances as a grant," according to a press release.

The government added that it has been identified that 450 ambulances and 25 backup ambulances are required to run the services effectively.

“There is a dearth of 150 ambulances at present." The Rajapaksa government has come under severe criticism for providing less attention to the ambulance service seen as India’s most valuable project assistance in Sri Lanka.

'Suwaseriya had fallen understaffed in the aftermath of the economic crisis since 2022. Nearly one-third of its staff has been lost due to various reasons, officials said.

The Rajapaksa government collapsed and left the country in political disarray.

Sri Lanka faced the worst economic crisis since its independence in 1948. The 2019 Easter bombings and the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged tourism, Sri Lanka’s main source of foreign revenue. PTI CORR AMS AKJ AMS

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