PM Modi inaugurates ambulance service in Sri Lanka
Prime Minister Modi acknowledged the launch of the project as a "major achievement" in the development of Indo-Sri Lankan relations.
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday digitally launched an India-assisted emergency ambulance service in Sri Lanka.
Addressing the inaugural event via video conference, Prime Minister Modi acknowledged the launch of the project as a "major achievement" in the development of Indo-Sri Lankan relations.
"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," he said.
Prime Minister Modi further assured that India has, and will always be the first responder for Sri Lanka.
"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.
The Prime Minister also noted 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.
Among the dignitaries present at the event was Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
India has given a grant of USD 22.8 million- 7.6 million dollars in the first phase and 15.2 million dollars for the country-wide expansion being launched today.
Under the first phase, 88 ambulances have been purchased for the two provinces, while another 209 ambulances are being provided to cover all districts in the country.
The Sri Lankan Prime Minister, while signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the countrywide expansion, stated that this is a good example of the Indian success story being transferred to Sri Lanka.
This is the largest Indian grant project in Sri Lanka, after the Indian housing project.
Apart from providing ambulances, the grant also covers the training of manpower in India and meeting operational costs for one year.