Four high-end ambulances that were gifted by the Chinese government are gathering dust on the premises of Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) in the absence of takers.
Although the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu had donated five ambulances, the KMC has managed to hand over only one of the vehicles so far.
KMC Spokesperson Shanta Ram Pokhrel said while one ambulance was donated to Ganeshman Singh Foundation, the remaining four are still with the metropolis. They are brought out every now and then when KMC organises health campaigns, he said.
Also known as removable hospitals, these ambulances can be used for child delivery, emergency medical intervention and oxygen therapy, besides transporting patients.
“As the operating cost of these ambulances is very high, organisations are reluctant to receive them,” Pokhrel said.
The metropolis plans to keep one ambulance for itself and distribute three others to various organisations.
The ambulances were originally meant for the locals of Sisdole Landfill Site in Nuwakot and Dhading districts, but the handover could not take place as they were unable to afford the operating cost. The KMC has already written to the Sisdole residents, asking them to collect the ambulances, but they have not responded.
“We were planning to hand over one ambulance to the residents of Nuwakot and Dhading. But the upkeep costs apparently discouraged them and we could not move ahead with the distribution process,” Pokhrel said.
Rabin Man Shrestha, Environment Division chief at the KMC, said they had requested the Chinese embassy to donate two normal ambulances but instead received five modern ones. “These ambulances are meant for emergency rescue and major accidents that are suitable for hospitals,” he said.
Meanwhile, Thapathali-based Paropakar Maternity and Women’s Hospital has approached the KMC seeking one of the ambulances.
Shrestha said they are finalising the handover process.