February 2020 News

10 Yrs On, Bandipora Hospital Awaits Completion

11 February 2020
Brighter Kashmir

Bandipora: Ten years on, the construction of district hospital was started at Nusoo village of north Kashmir's Bandipora is yet to be completed even as locals face immense hardships for want of this facility. District hospital building is under construction since 2010 when its foundation stone was laid with an estimated cost of Rs 28.25 crore which has now been revised due to cost escalation over the years. Locals said that they have been facing immense hardships in the absence of a multi-specialty health care institute in the district as the successive governments and the local administration have failed to complete the work on the building. They said that they have been witnessing the construction of the hospital building from last more than 10 years but the building has not been completed even has it has already missed six deadlines. Locals said that the project should have been given the priority as this is an emergency service and due to its absence, the local population is suffering immensely. 'Present hospital building is in a shambles where the OPD, general ward, and accident and emergency wards are functioning from pre-fabricated huts. The present hospital is still having the status of the sub-district hospital and due to the lack of space, the patients suffer.' According to locals, it has the capacity of 20 beds only and labor room has only three beds, speaking volumes about the state of healthcare in the district. Mushtaq Ahamd, a local resident said that the work on the district hospital is going on at snail's pace which can be gauged from the fact that it is still under-construction since past more than 10 years. The locals said that due to the absence of specialized facilities in the present hospital, they have to either go to the Srinagar or Sopore hospitals for specialized treatment as most of the patients even with minor ailments are referred to hospitals outside the district. 'Had the hospital building been completed on time, our problems would have been mitigated and the common people won't have to suffer like this every day,' he said. Official sources said the executing agency has already missed six deadlines in the past to complete the multi-crore hospital building. 'Earlier, the deadline for making one portion of the hospital functional was June 2017, later it was extended to September 2017 but till date, the hospital is yet to be made functional,' said the officials. They said that another deadline was fixed in June 2018 but the executing authority has failed to complete the construction works and hand over the building to the health department. 'When the executing failed to complete the project in June 2018 also, the deadline was later extended to June 2019 yet its completion is nowhere in sight. The deadline was again extended to December 2019. Finishing work is in progress since 2015 and still it has not been completed,' they said. The execution work of the hospital is being carried out by JK Housing Board. 'Even though 1.36 crores were provided under languishing projects last year to the complete the project still the building is incomplete and subsequently not suitable for making it functional,' the official sources said. A senior official of the district said that they have received funds under languishing projects and work for fencing, entry and exit gates, ground levelling and maintenance of parking space. He said that fencing work is in progress and within next few months first floor of the building would be made functional.