Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 17:
Ambulance services in the state were badly hit today as hundreds of 108 ambulance workers staged a dharna at Lower PMG of Odisha capital demanding fulfilment of their seven point charter of demands.
They have threatened to go on a cease work from tomorrow, if there demands are not met.
Even though Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak yesterday hinted that Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) may be enforced to curb the strike from tomorrow, no concrete announcements have been made so far.
No alternate arrangements have been made for patients so far, even though Nayak had asked the district collectors to do so yesterday.
Notably, the employees of the 108 ambulance service including drivers, helpers and medical technicians have been agitating since a long time demanding payment of minimum guaranteed wages, 15 per cent annual increment and construction of rest shades for the employees among others.
Besides, they have been alleging that they are being forced to work in 12-hour-long shifts against the provision of eight hours.
Yesterday, they had worn black badges and had staged protests in front of district collector’s offices across the state.