THE OIL and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is planning to procure an air ambulance to ensure quick medical aid to its employees working off shore. The ambulance would be reserved to provide emergency medical services immediately after a call is made. The heli-ambulance will be equipped with doctors and medical equipment. Last week, the ONGC floated an expression of interest to invite chopper companies to participate in bids. “We are constantly looking at ways of improving services. We had deliberated upon having such chopper services only last year. We hope to procure the chopper at the earliest after the interest has been floated,” a senior ONGC official said.
ONGC has off-shore operations in the western region of Mumbai and the eastern section of Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh. It has to rely on the aircraft provided by chopper companies to provide medical aid. “If we have our own dedicated chopper, we would not have to rely on other aircraft operators. The heli-ambulance would be at our beck and call. For each medical emergency of our employees working off-shore, the ambulance would be available,” the ONGC official added. On January 13, five senior officials of the ONGC and two Pawan Hans pilots died after the chopper they were in crashed. Senior ONGC officials said one member from the families of the victims has been offered a job in ONGC.
“We will provide the best care to each of the employees and their families to the maximum possible extent,” an ONGC official said. The ONGC Residents Welfare Association in Bandra has arranged for a counselling session in Bandra on Saturday. “The session will aim to motivate the families of the victims. It was an unfortunate incident and we are trying our best to help them recover at the earliest,” a senior ONGC official added. The ONGC has appointed an aviation safety consultant to conduct a technical audit of the aircraft equipment of their operators. A report is expected soon, officials said.