Srinagar, Nov 9: Winter doesn't come with a prescribed date of commencement . But for centrally heating the City hospitals, the authorities strictly adhere to a specific calendar even if it means to leave the patients shiver with cold.
Same held true Monday when the hospitals witnessed chill like elsewhere, but authorities said heating arrangements would be started only from November 15.
The patients at the government run hospitals in the City have been left to shiver amid dipping temperatures. But authorities plead that there's a notification that the centrally heating couldn't be started before the prescribed date.
For the patients, their worries have only increased in past two days due to the fall in the temperatures.
Amid chilly winds, the recorded day temperature in Srinagar was six degrees Celsius on Monday while the higher reaches continued to receive snowfall.
But at hospitals most patients including children, women and elderly could be seen shivering under the blankets. Moreover, only a blanket is provided, per patient, by the hospital administration.
While some patients from City manage getting hot water-bottles from home, the patients from elsewhere have to do some beg, borrow and steal.
"At least twice a day I get hot water from the Geyser in the canteen to keep my brother warm. I have to virtually beg before the canteen people or pay them something for hot water but then I have no other options," said Imran whose brother is under post operative care at SMHS hospital.
The situation in other hospitals including the LD –the sole maternity hospital, Bone and Joints -Valley's only trauma centre and the child care centre GB pant hospital, is no different.
"Not only the patients but the attendants too are shivering with cold. We manage some means of warmth for the patients but nothing for attendants. The authorities present a strange logic that they can't start the heating system early in contravention of government rule," said Muhammad Shafi, whose nephew has been under treatment at GB Pant hospital.
The senior doctors in Bone and Joint Hospital said the situation was 'terrible' last night.
"Patients and attendants were literally shivering," they said.
"We received a patient from Ladakh yesterday and we can't expect him to get a hot water bottle from home. Similar is the situation of patients from other far-off areas of Kashmir," he said.
The senior doctors in the hospital said even the operation theatres and post operative care wards were without heating arrangements.
"We use blowers and other secondary means to keep the patients warm in operation theatres," he added.
When contacted, the Principal Government Medical College Srinagar, Dr Shahida Mir, however, said fresh orders have been issued to make the heating systems operational.
"We have issued the orders particularly for GB pant and LD hospital," she told Greater Kashmir.