UHCU Rajouri: a victim of administrative apathy

Established to cater to the health-care needs of around fifty-thousand people living in main town Rajouri as well as peripheral villages, the Urban Health-Care Unit (UHCU) of the border district is lying in shambles due to administrative apathy, thus betraying hollowness of haughty claims.

The health-care facility is being run in a temporary manner from the town hall building of Municipal Council Rajouri. Even after the lapse of ten years, the authorities have failed to provide a proper building for this vital institution, the main building of which is in a pitiable condition.

Locals rue that around ten years ago, the department of Health and Family Welfare started a health institution under the name of Urban Healthcare Unit in main town Rajouri with an aim to provide basic health facilities to the inhabitants of border town and peripheral villages. As the population of Rajouri town witnessed a steady surge, the authorities upgraded the urban local body, from committee to council yet they did not bother to improve infrastructure of this vital health care facility to commensurate the needs of growing populace, they maintained.

“Population increased, town expanded but the department failed to upgrade the health institution started a decade ago,” said Ashok Sharma, a local civil society member adding that there was no proper dedicated health institution for Rajouri town.

Rajesh Gupta, president of trader body in Rajouri said that initially this UHCU Rajouri was being run in a single-room building of Municipality in town. However, as the time passed by, its dilapidated condition forced authorities to shift the Centre.

“Presently, it is being run from a room of town hall built by Municipality to hold events and marriage functions. A single room houses the entire staff of UHCU and the doctors also treat the patients there only. This betrays the sad state of affairs and failure of department to ensure a proper dedicated health institution for around fifty thousand people living in Rajouri town and its vicinity,” Gupta said.

Yogesh Sharma, Sarpanch of TundiTrarpanchayat located in the vicinity of town, said that his Panchayat was just four kilometers away from town.

“There is no Primary Health Centre there and the people have to visit UHCU for basic health needs. Unfortunately, the UHCU is being run in an apathetic manner,” Sharma said.

Asif Ahmed, another civil society member of Rajouri town bats for a dedicated spacious and hygienic building for Urban Healthcare Unit of Rajouri town. He said that government should pay concern towards health related needs of around fifty-thousand people living in town.

“Not only people of Rajouri town but people from Thandikassi, Gambhir, Palullian, Chawa, Gurdan, PirKanju, Dassal, Keriyan and Mehari villages in the periphery of town also depend on this UHCU for basic health needs,” Asif said. They aver, “We hope that a trickle of budget and focus of the concerned authorities would reach here to commensurate the haughty claims of the government, which describes the health sector as its primary concern.”

Block Medical Officer Manjakote, Dr. Mahmood Ahmed, while speaking to Greater Kashmir, stated that the higher authorities were apprised about the matter related to unavailability of a dedicated building for urban healthcare unit.

“We are going to take up matter with the higher authorities afresh to identify a piece of land in Rajouri town so that building of UHCU can be constructed there,” he added.