After years of delay, the Maternity and Child Care Hospital (MCCH) Anantnag, presently housed in an old, dilapidated and unsafe building in the congested Sherbagh locality of the town would finally be shifted to Rehmat-e-Alam hospital building located at K P Road in the summer.
“We were eagerly awaiting the safety audit report from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Jammu. They finally submitted it after eight months,” Jammu and Kashmir Project Construction Corporation (JKPCC) General Manager, Showkat Ahmad Dar told .
He said that the institute had recommended retrofitting and jacketing of columns and vital beams in the ground floor and first floor of the building to strengthen it further and reduce the vulnerability.
Both the floors were constructed by the Rehmat-e-Aalam Trust 15 years back.
In February 2017, the government accorded sanction to taking over the building by the Health and Medical Education Department with all its assets and liabilities.
The government had earlier started the process of taking over in 2015.
“In its report, the institute has not shared the technical details and design. So we have written to them and sought all those details,” the JKPCC General Manager said.
He said that they were soon expecting the response following which work would be tendered out.
“We have completed truss work of the hospital. The internal finishing works including CJI roofing and tile work will be started soon,” Dar said.
He said they would hand over the building to GMC authorities by June this year.
The work on the Rs 12.12 crorehospital was stopped midway, mainly due to paucity of funds.
However, early last year, the former Lieutenant Governor G C Murmu sanctioned Rs 9 crore more for the project.
But the work again remained at a halt due to the pending safety audit report.
With the JKPCC likely to hand over the Rehmat-e-Alam Hospital to Government Medical College (GMC), Anantnag, the development comes as a respite to the pregnant women in the area.
The MCCH Anantnag caters to entire south Kashmir as well as Chenab and PirPanchal Valley.
The hospital is only 40 bedded with an average of more than 40,000 patients in the Out-Patient Department (OPD) and about 7000 indoor patients on a monthly basis.
It always remains overcrowded with two to three patients sharing a single bed while the beds have even been put in the corridor.
The space crunch has for long been taking a toll on the healthcare of the patients and at times forcing the doctors to unnecessarily refer pregnant women and children to hospitals in Srinagar.
The hospital has also hogged the headline for deaths of expecting mothers.