GUWAHATI, Sept 7 - Emergency response services continued to be affected in the State as the 3,000-odd employees of the GVK EMRI continued their strike for the third consecutive day.
Despite putting into place a support staff to run its call centres and engaging �Adoroni� ambulances and 50 others provided by the government, the GVK EMRI could attend to only about 30 per cent of the calls received by them.
�On September 5, the call centres had received 13,872 calls and yesterday around 10,900. But the centres could respond to only about 4,500 of them. Vehicles were provided only in about 30 per cent of the cases,� a GVK EMRI official said.
On normal days, the emergency 108 service attends to around 1,200 cases. Both the 108 and 102 services together have around 492 running vehicles. Today, the company deployed 50 additional ambulances, besides the 235 �Adoroni� ambulances and 50 provided by the State government.
The company hadn�t, however, been able to run its call centres at night.
Since the strike began, the service provider has recruited some 100 new staff to offset the impact of the agitation, but its officials said the striking staff today allegedly confronted the new recruits in front of the head office where a demonstration was being staged.
�Police had to intervene to prevent the situation from going out of hand,� the company officials said.
The company has directed its striking staff to attend to duty by 8 pm today, failing which action would be taken against them.
A senior NHM official admitted that emergency response service has been affected, but alternate arrangements are being made using other ambulances and government and ASTC drivers. �We have asked the GVK EMRI to submit a report on the situation,� the official said.
Sources said in absence of the service, private ambulances are making brisk business.
The striking employees said there has been no response from the company on their demands so far. �We have been staging a peaceful demonstration in front of the head office. The gathering is expected to swell by tomorrow,� the union members said, rebutting allegations that they obstructed the new recruits and created law and order problems.