Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio seen along with cabinet colleagues and other officials after launching of ambulances in Dimapur on April 28.
Morung Express News
Dimapur | April 29
While the 10 Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulances procured by the State Government have brought some respite to the state’s crumbling health infrastructure, the registration numbers of the ambulances brought up many unanswered queries.
The vehicles were launched by Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on April 28 in Dimapur.
A search on the registration details of one of the ambulances on the Government of India’s Ministry of Road Transport & Highways website vahan.nic.in, revealed that the vehicles was registered on December 31, 2019, at the Transport Nagar RTO Lucknow (UP32), Uttar Pradesh. The owner’s name was listed as ‘Lessee 108 Emergency Medical Transport Services’ and it also showed that the vehicle was "Financed," details of which were not available on the site.
It may be mentioned that if a vehicle is financed, the registration certificate will have a mention of the same. Hence, an important step to sell a financed car is to clear off the loan, obtain a No Objection Certificate from the particular bank/financing firm and submit the same at the RTO to get a new registration card with no mention of hypothecation.
When contacted by The Morung Express, Secretary of Health and Family Welfare, Kesonyü Yhome explained that the firm had purchased the ambulances in bulk and pre-registered them in UP owing to the Supreme Court’s ban on registration of all Bharat Stage IV (BS-IV) compliant vehicles after April 1.
“The ambulances were meant for another state but with the support of the UP administration, we were able to negotiate with the firm and basing on the urgency and necessity faced by Nagaland, procure the ambulances,” he said.
When questioned on how the state government purchased vehicles that were financed, Yhome said that the department was not ‘privy’ of the information. However, he said that “the question of the state government forfeiting the ambulance in the future does not arise” because purchase of the ambulances were “unconditional procurement.”
Speculations that the ambulances were procured on lease were also rife on various social media platforms on Wednesday. It claimed that the vehicles were secondhand and according to the vehicle details, it conformed to the now phased out BS-IV emission norms.
The ban on sale and registration of BS IV vehicles took effect on April 1, 2020 as per the October 2018 Supreme Court order.
The vehicles bore Uttar Pradesh registration numbers.