Srinagar, Dec 10: Patients admitted to the associated hospitals of the Government Medical College Srinagar are shivering in sub-zero temperature as the heating system there has been badly affected due to stoppage of oil supply by the Indian Oil Corporation.
According to sources, the IOC has stopped the fuel supply due to the failure of the State Government to get the mandatory ‘explosive certificate’ for the hospitals from the Union Ministry of Commerce. The decision, they said, has caused troubled hundreds of patients as the hospital management is unable to run the heating system round-the-clock in absence of fuel.
Official sources told Greater Kashmir that the problem has forced the hospital administrations to purchase the fuel from open market on exorbitant rates and store it “illegally” in the health institutions. “It obviously makes the hospitals vulnerable to disasters,” they said.
An IOC official, wishing anonymity, said they had ‘valid reasons’ to stop the fuel supply. “We have been asking for the mandatory explosive certificate from the hospitals for more than a year. We have been repeatedly informing the Health and Medical Education Department to furnish the certificate, but they failed. We therefore decided to stop the oil supply,” the official said.
In the entire J&K, only the SK Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura is in possession of the certificate.
Sources said the GMC has not acquired the Certificate for the past 30 years. “This is a brazen violation of the Explosive Act,” they said.
All hospitals including Lal Ded, SMHS, GB Pant and Bone and Joints, and Chest Disease Hospital have now started purchasing the fuel from open market on exorbitant rates, the sources said.
The IOC move comes following outcry over death of nearly 100 people after a hospital caught fire in Kolkatta on December 9 last year.
When contacted, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Asgar Samoon said the district administration won’t leave the hospitals suffering. “I have already told the district administration to issue temporary certificate (for storage purposes) to the hospitals so that they can run the heating system smoothly,” he said.
Despite repeated attempts Commissioner/Secretary, Health and Medical Education Department, MK Dwivedi, could not be contacted for comments.