Assam: Negligence in Dhubri’s 108 Boat Service Compels Woman to Give Birth on Passenger Boat

Guwahati, 26th November: Noor Nihar Khatun, a resident of Baldiar Alga Char Riverine Island in Assam’s Dhubri district, experienced a distressing childbirth situation on a passenger boat, attributing the ordeal to the negligence of 108 boat ambulance service workers.

The disconcerting incident unfolded on November 25 when the family of the expectant mother reached out to the 108 boat ambulance service, anticipating her imminent delivery. Shockingly, the response indicated that the boat was malfunctioning, leaving the family frustrated and the char village residents questioning the unavailability of an essential service when urgently required.

Boat ambulances are integral to the 108 Emergency Response Service, designed for areas accessible more conveniently by waterways than roads, aiming to enhance response efficiency.

Allegedly, the National Health Mission (NHM) or GVK EMRI associates exhibited a callous attitude by failing to report the boat’s disrepair promptly, neglecting their duty to be in operational condition.

In Dhubri, the situation appears dire, with three visibly deteriorating 108 boats. Reports suggest that one of these boats was transported from South Salmara-Mankachar district.

Shockingly, the district personnel, responsible for overseeing the situation, are found present at the char village a day after their presence was critically needed. Sources indicate that such visits might be attempts to dissuade victims or their families from lodging complaints.

On the contrary, higher authorities from NHM claim ignorance regarding the operational status of the 108 boat at Netai Dhubani Ghat in Dhubri. The apparent discrepancy between department knowledge and the operational status of the boats raises concerns about potential negligence or miscommunication.

Investigations have exposed a systemic failure in adhering to crucial mandates. Contrary to protocol, these emergency vessels often operate without a pilot, rendering them ineffective in providing immediate assistance. The consequences of such negligence have proven catastrophic for char area inhabitants in Dhubri, leading to avoidable loss of life and compromised healthcare for expectant mothers and infants, exposing them to unnecessary risks and dire consequences.

Also read: Assam Rifles Hosts Third Edition of Half Marathon in Shillong, Advocates for ‘Fit India Movement’

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