Construction of new 50-bed hospital building awaits completion from past 4 years
By: Ahmad Shabir
Bijbehara: Even after completion of four years, the authorities have miserably failed to complete the construction of the much-awaited 50-bed Sub District Hospital (SDH) Bijbehara building. However, with no end to the project, the hospital continues to function from an ‘unsafe’ space starved building, thus leaving the patients as well as the hospital administration to suffer.
After the devastating floods damaged the SDH Bijbehara building, the Roads and Buildings (R&B) department a year later conducted a safety audit of the building and declared it unsafe.
After the building was declared unsafe, authorities sanctioned a new 50 bedded hospital within the premises of the SDH, officials said, adding that following the tendering process and other formalities, the construction on the building was started in 2017 by the executing agency, police housing corporation.
However, four years later, the hospital continues to function from the unsafe building as the new hospital building is still awaiting completion.
Sources said that the executing agency has so far missed many deadlines.
“Executing agency was supposed to complete the building in 2019 but 2021 is also about to end and the project continues to remain incomplete,” said an official posted at SDH Bijbehara.
He said that initially the slow pace of work by the construction agency and later Covid restrictions led to the delay in completion of the project.
Due to the delay in the completion of the new building, the hospital continues to function from the old unsafe building, which poses threat not only to the lives of the patients but staff as well, he said
“Despite having been declared unsafe, the building also remains space starved causing inconvenience to the patients. The patients visiting the hospital for OPD consultations have to wait in the corridor for their turn as there is no space available where they can wait. The hospital also does not have any space available for installation of new equipment,” said a doctor posted in the hospital.
The hospital, after the Government Medical College (GMC) , remains one of the most crowded healthcare facilities in the district. Besides Bijbehara town, it caters to dozens of villages of Anantnag and Pulwama districts.
The hospital registers 400 to 500 patients every day, the officials said.
However, Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Anantnag, Dr Mukhtar told Precious Kashmir that the hospital building will be operational in the next three to four months.
“Yes, the work on the hospital building came to halt many times due to many reasons since it was sanctioned five years ago but now the work on the same is in full swing. Only the internal work is left now, which too will be completed in the next three to four months,” CMO said.