Keeping his party's election promise of providing better health care, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav announced the availability of 200 new ambulances for specific districts in the state.
Speaking before the flagging-off ceremony, Yadav said the Samajwadi Party (SP) government had prioritised healthcare in its election manifesto and he was happy that the first steps in this direction were being taken.
He also announced that in the second phase, 772 ambulances would be rolled out in other districts in October.
The chief minister said the ambulance service would be available free of charge. The ambulances are Tata Winger and Force Traveller vehicles.
The service was launched under a scheme funded by the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).
Two ambulances would be stationed at each district headquarters to serve block and village levels on SOS basis, an official said.
A call centre will soon be set up, and those in need of emergency ambulance services could call 102.
The state government is set to recruit some 2,100 drivers on contract basis to man the vehicles.