G.V.K. Reddy elected chairman of ‘108 ambulance’ (Lead)

May 27th, 2009 - 3:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Ramalinga Raju Hyderabad, May 27 (IANS) Noted industrialist G.V.K. Reddy has been unanimously elected chairperson of the Emergency Management Research Institute (EMRI) that has earned wide repute for running 1,650 ambulances in 11 states.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy personally requested Reddy to take charge of the non-profit organisation, popularly called “108 ambulance”, following which its governing body elected him chairperson.

“Mr. G.V.K. Reddy, while accepting the invitation, stated that his wish in life is to do the best and be second to none. He believes in team work and wants the name and fame of EMRI to be strengthened further,” said a statement issued by the organisation.

Former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was previously its chairman emeritus but had quit some months ago.

The organisation has some 12,000 people working for it to man the ambulance service that helps people in medical, fire and police emergencies as soon as they are approached by dialling 108 - in many ways India’s 911.

Reddy - whose diversified business house has interests in power, roads, infrastructure, services and manufacturing - has promised to contribute 5 percent of the organisation’s costs.

The bulk of its expenditure is borne by the Andhra Pradesh government for the state under a memorandum of understanding signed last year. The institution has similar pacts with the respective governments of 10 other states.

The organisation was founded by B. Ramalinga Raju, who had quit as chairman Jan 6, the day he also resigned from the top post at Satyam Computer Services after confessing to a massive accounting fraud in the IT bellwether.

Chief Minister Reddy had reviewed the functioning of EMRI recently and asked its officials to make its working transparent like the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund and the Rajiv Arogyasri, a community health insurance scheme.

He also asked EMRI officials to create a new website so that the activities of its 108 services can be uploaded every day, and suggested information on every trip that the ambulances make should be uploaded on the website.

Raju and his family members had contributed Rs.340 million (Rs.34 crore) to EMRI in 2005. With interest, it became Rs.370 million (Rs.37 crore) and was spent toward its operational costs for the next two years.

The organisation is now looking for a guarantor to replace Raju, who had given personal guarantee for a term loan of Rs.430 million (Rs.43 crore) taken by from Axis Bank in 2007.

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