New Delhi | Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday digitally launched an India-assisted emergency ambulance service in Sri Lanka. PM Modi acknowledged the launch of the project as a “major achievement” in the development of Indo-Sri Lankan relations.
Addressing the audience via video conference, PM Modi said,”During my visit last year, I had promised that India will work for expanding the pre-hospital Emergency Ambulance Service all over Sri Lanka. I am happy that India has fulfilled its promise in a timely manner and we have marked the beginning of the second phase of the service”.
“It is not just a coincidence that India has the privilege to be Sri Lanka’s partner in establishing this first responder service and in its expansion. In good times and bad, India has been, and will always be the first responder for Sri Lanka,” he said while assuring the audience that India has, and will always be the first responder for Sri Lanka.
The Prime Minister also said that Sri Lanka is not just a neighbour, but a trusted partner of India in South Asia. “When I look at Sri Lanka, I see not only a neighbour, but a very special and trusted partner of India in South Asia and in the Indian Ocean. I believe that our development cooperation with Sri Lanka is an important means for translating our vision of shared progress into reality. Our people should be in constant touch with each other so that we know each other better and become even closer friends,” he added.
India has provided a grant of USD 22.8 million- 7.6 million dollars in the first phase to Srilanka while15.2 million dollars for the country-wide expansion being launched today.
88 ambulances have been purchased for the two provinces in the first phase while another 209 ambulances are being provided to cover all districts in the country. Apart from providing ambulances, the grant also covers the training of manpower in India and meeting operational costs for one year.
The event dignitaries also included Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.