Refectory functions from unhygienic cramped tin shed, patients, attendants suffer
By: Ahmed Shabir
Anantnag: Three years elapsed since the authorities started work on construction of canteen at Government Medical College (GMC) Anantnag, the cafeteria at the hospital continued to function in an unhygienic cramped tin shed, thus leaving patients as well as their attendants to lurch at large.
The functioning of canteen from an unhygienic tin shed comes at a time when the doctors have been advising people to maintain hygiene in wake of the deadly pandemic.
The government had sanctioned a canteen for the hospital four years ago and allotted the contract for the same to JK housing board. The estimated cost of the two-storey canteen is Rs one crore. However, the construction of the canteen has not moved beyond the erection of concrete pillars and some brick work in the last nearly three years.
For last several months, the work on the canteen is at complete halt due to the paucity of funds.
The GMC authorities, sources said, many a time had reminded the executing agency to complete the construction but there was no response on their part.
Even as the new canteen that was supposed to be constructed on modern lines for both attendants and staff remains far from completion, sources said, the GMC authorities have not taken any measures to improve the hygiene of the existing canteen running from a tin shed.
The canteen has very little space with very poor hygiene and no ventilation from any side. The canteen is so unhygienic that majority of the doctors and Para-medics, a doctor said, avoid having even a cup of tea.
Sources said that the person who has been running the canteen even after the expiry of the contract was many a time asked to make some repairs of the temporary canteen and ensure hygiene but he continues to carry on his business in the same conditions.
“After his contract expired last time he has been running the canteen on extension granted to him by the top GMC authorities,” a source said.
Now that the authorities have floated new tenders for the same and the contract has been allotted to some other person but despite that the canteen continues to be run by the one allotted the contract previously. No top official from housing board respond to calls from Precious Kashmir for their version. However, Medical Superintendent, GMC Anantnag, Dr Iqbal admitted that the condition of the existing canteen is unhygienic.
“I many a time had asked him to improve the hygiene and repair the accommodation but he did not listen. Now the contract for running the canteen has gone to another person and I won’t allow him to run the canteen in same unhygienic conditions,” MS said.