Staring at a possibility of a strike by the firm that operates and maintains ambulances in the city, the Centralised Accident and Trauma Services (CATS) has asked police to probe allegations of assault levelled by the company’s employees. The strike, initially supposed to be launched from September 1, has been called off for now.
The firm, BVG-UKSAS EMS Private Limited, was informed about this in a letter by a senior CATS official on August 30 — 10 days after the firm threatened to withdraw services.
The letter states, “Higher authorities of CATS considered the matter very seriously and the police commissioner has already been requested to take immediate action on incidents of physical assaults with managers/supervisors of BVG”.
As reported by The Indian Express, the private firm, in a letter to CATS, had alleged that three of its employees were beaten up at the behest of “contractual staff of CATS” over the last one year. While the firm is responsible for maintenance and operations of Delhi government ambulances; CATS, the government department, owns the vehicles.
The friction, an official said, is over “change in work ethic” since BVG took over in 2016. CATS has also attached the letter it sent to the police commissioner and SHOs of Saket, Uttam Nagar and Najafgarh police stations (where three FIRs have been filed).
In his letter to police commissioner Amulya Patnaik, Health and Family Welfare secretary Sanjeev Khirwar has stated the “matter may personally be looked into and necessary directions may be issued to police stations concerned to take immediate action”, since the ambulances come under emergency services.
Dr Nivedita Patnaik, manager of operations at BVG, said, “After we received the letter from CATS, we decided not to withdraw services for now… we will wait a few days to see what action is taken by police”. The letter to BVG by CATS also states, “You are requested to ensure the operation of CATS ambulance service as per provisions of the agreement without any fear.”
Of the three employees who have alleged they were beaten up by CATS staffers, two have filed FIRs. These include Nitin Bajpayee (30), who was allegedly beaten up twice, and Rajender Kumar (47), who was allegedly beaten up last month.