Agency spends hefty amount on hospital’s construction; IIT Jammu declares it ‘unsafe’
By: Ahmad Shabir
Anantnag: The Institute of Information Technology (IIT) Jammu has put a question mark over the hefty amount spent on the construction of Rahmat-e-Alam hospital in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district as it has expressed safety concerns, saying that the building should not be used for hospital purposes.
The building meant for the hospital was constructed by the Jammu and Kashmir Projects Construction Company (JKPCC) and crores of rupees have been spent by the agency to complete the project.
Pertinently, four years ago, the PDP-BJP bonhomie had taken over the trust owned meet construction Rahmat-e-Alam hospital along with its assets and liabilities with the purpose to shift the MCH there.
Soon after taking over Rahmat-e-Alam, the government allotted contract to JKPCC for construction of two more storeys to the building. Estimated at the cost of Rs 12 crore, the work on the hospital was halted many a time for months together some times due to paucity of funds and once after the CRPF men occupied the building for nearly one year.
Finally, the government last year released funds for the same and the executing agency speeded up the work on the building and even fixed the truss over the building.
Meanwhile, the government assigned IIT Jammu to conduct safety audit of the hospital. After several months, the audit agency recommended the jacketing of the vital beams and pillars of first two floors in its report but design and other technical details with regard to jacketing of beams took the agency many more months.
Official sources in JKPCC and Medical College Anantnag said that the audit agency has now recommended that the hospital building cannot be used for hospital purposes even after jacketing of the beams.
Agency, officials said, has recommended that the building now be used for any other purpose.
General Manager JKPCC, Showkat Ahmad confirmed that recommendation from the safety audit agency has come against using the building for hospital purposes.
“Though the report has not been shared with us but we have been informed about it. The work on the building is at halt now. We are waiting for further directions,” GM told Precious Kashmir.
He said that the audit agency must have shared the report with medical college authorities and they are the right people to comment on this.
Principal GMC, Anantnag , Dr Tariq Qureshi also confirmed the recommendation by IIT that the Rahmat-e-Alam building cannot be used for neonatal and pediatric ICUs.
“Following recommendations by IIT Jammu, we are looking for establishing neonatal ICU somewhere else before the possible third wave of Covid comes. But we won’t let the Rahmate Alam building go waste and will definitely use it for some other purpose given the fact the lot of money has been spent on it,” GMC principal said.
Meanwhile, people of Anantnag have questioned the wisdom of authorities of spending crores on the building without establishing if the building was safe to be used as hospital child and maternity hospital.
“Authorities before taking over the building should have got its safety audit done but ironically they did it after wasting crores of rupees,” said a local resident, Mohammad Yasir Waza.
Another local Kousar Majid also expressed dismay over the wisdom of authorities of going ahead with the project without consulting the experts first weather the trust owned building was fit to be used for hospital or not.
“People were desperately waiting for shifting of MCH from congested Sherbagh to Rahmate Alam in uptown area but they have been failed again,” Kousar said.