Even though coronavirus hit Jammu and Kashmir in the start of 2020, the authorities in Rajouri district have failed to get the work for oxygen generation plant started at the Government Medical College and Associated Hospital Rajouri which houses the lone isolation ward of Rajouri district for coronavirus patients.
The authorities have now started work for installation of a mini-oxygen concentrator on a war footing with present oxygen supply for COVID-19 patients being maintained through manual clubbing of oxygen cylinders.
The isolation ward of the Government Medical College and Associated Hospital is the lone ward within the health institution where treatment of coronavirus patients with symptoms is being done.
Presently, around 40 patients are under treatment in the isolation ward with six among them having serious illness including severe distress of respiratory tract.
Official sources told that for setting up an oxygen generation plant at GMC Associated Hospital Rajouri, a tender was flashed in June last year and a contractor was allotted the contract but he failed to start the work.
“After his reluctance to start the work even after the lapse of months, the tender was re-flashed and now has been allotted to a new contractor who is expected to start the work in a few weeks,” souces said.
In an official statement, management of GMC Associated Hospital Rajouri said that a total sanctioned cost of manifold gas pipeline system and oxygen generation plant was Rs 8.94 crore.
This was sanctioned in last financial year and the manifold gas pipeline system has been operationalised whereas the work on oxygen generation plant is yet to be started, the statement mentions.
“The work of oxygen generation plant was tendered by Chief Engineer Mechanical Engineering Department during the last financial year but it did not materialise due to some technical issues,” it reads.
The Government Medical College authorities said that now again it had been informed by the Mechanical Division Rajouri that work of the generation plant had been tendered and allotted to the successful contractor and once started it would be completed within 10-15 days.
On the other hand, Medical Superintendent of GMC Associated Hospital Rajouri, Dr Mehmood Bajar and officials of district administration Rajouri said that presently 32 oxygen cylinders with a capacity of 7 cubic meters each are functioning in the hospital.
It was also informed that the material for the installation of the oxygen concentrator plant has been received on Monday and the work on its installation is being carried out on a war footing basis and would be completed before May 3.
The officials said that the upcoming oxygen concentrator plant would help in augmenting bed capacities in the district for successful treatment of COVID-19 positive patients.