Malkangiri: The Border Security Force (BSF) Wednesday launched a boat ambulance service in the Balimela reservoir for the people of Swabhimaan Anchal in Odisha’s Malkangiri district on the occasion of the 73rd Republic Day.
BSF DIG Sanjay Singh inaugurated the boat ambulance service near Gurupriya bridge in the Swabhiman Anchal. The ambulance will facilitate in providing emergency medical services to around 10,000 people of the area, he said.
Singh said that the BSF Director General Pankaj Kumar Singh, who visited the area, had realized that the people of the Swabhimaan Anchal should be provided with medical facilities as patients face a lot of difficulties to cross the reservoir to visit hospital in Chitrakonda.
He said the BSF will meet the emergency health requirement of the people with the help of the district administration. The BSF also appealed to the people of the area to take benefit of the facility.
The Boat Ambulance service will be available between two ends of Balimela reservoir. Around 10,000 residents of over 35 villages near the reservoir in the cut-off area will be benefited.
Though the state government has opened the Guripriya bridge, most of the people are unable to get ambulance service due to lack of roads to come to the mainline. They used to carry ailing persons to hospitals on slings or bamboo stretchers through forest areas.
Swabhiman Anchal, the erstwhile cut off area, was created when the Balimela reservoir came into being in 1977 which isolated 151 villages from the mainland. After decades, the turning point came in 2018 when the Gurupriya bridge was built under heavy protection of BSF troops, making it feasible for the security personnel and state administration to venture into Maoist bastion with a vision of development in the region.
The BSF officials said that the Boat Ambulance service will be available seven days a week. Contact numbers for the service will be displayed on the boat ambulance while contact numbers of BSF officers will be circulated among the villagers.
The boat is equipped with medical oxygen cylinders, drip system, emergency medicines, a doctor, paramedical staff and stretchers. The BSF officers will arrange ambulance to shift the patients to the nearby hospital once they cross the Balimela reservoir, they said.
BSF jawans are deployed in Odisha since 2010 and assisting anti-Maoist operations and ensuing implementation of the developmental works in naxal infested areas.