New Building ‘Completed’ In 2003 Yet To Be Handed Over To Department; JKPCC Cites Non-Payment For Delaying Handover
In what reflects the sorry tale of healthcare in this district, primary health centre (PHC) Vesu on the highway here is functioning from a doctors’ residential quarter comprising four small rooms, even as its outpatient department (OPD) is in a tin shed.
According to locals the construction of the new building for PHC Vesu was undertaken by Jammu and Kashmir project construction corporation (JKPCC) a few years after the local Auqaf committee donated some land for it way back in 1996.
“The building was completed in 2003. But it has not been made functional as yet despite 14 years after its completion,” sources and locals said.
“The PHC was functioning from a rented building till 2003. As the new building was nearing completion in 2003, the PHC was shifted to the doctors’ residential quarter which was also constructed at the site, with the hope that it would be shifted to the newly constructed building very soon,” official sources told Greater Kashmir.
They said that since then the new building is lying vacant and the PHC continues to function from that doctors’ quarter.
“The JKPCC did not hand over the building to the health department as the later failed to pay them Rs 40 lakh,” officials said.
The locals rue the callous approach of the government saying in absence of proper infrastructure, patients of the area suffer.
“The hospital is crammed in four small rooms with one room being used as doctors’ ward and the remaining as emergency ward, immunization and laboratory,” Basharat Pampori, a local said.
He said the OPD and the dressing section were operating from a small tin shed.
“There is no proper electricity, water supply and sanitation in the centre. In absence of such facilities, the lives of the patients are put to risk,” he said.
As the PHC is located on the highway between Qazigund and Anantnag most of the accidental injury cases are shifted there for first aid, but the lack of proper infrastructure forces the doctors to refer them.
DGM JKPCC Kulgam, Shabir Ahmad, cited the “non-clearance of requisite amount by the directorate of health as the reason for not handing over the building.”
“Out of the estimated cost of the project, the department released Rs 1.56 crore while the remaining Rs 41.98 lakh is still pending,” the DGM said.
He said that as soon as the payment “is cleared we will hand over the building to the health department.”
Chief medical officer Kulgam, Muhamad Shafi Darzi, however, said the hospital building still had certain deficiencies and would be taken over once the JKPCC completed them. “We can’t take over incomplete building,” CMO said.
Regarding the pending amount to be paid by health department, CMO said, “Since Vesu falls in the revenue district Anantnag and it has to be paid by them.”