Sluggish pace of work hits Children’s Hospital at Bemina

Of 22 cr under PMDP, only Rs 6 cr spent in 2 years

ZEHRU NISSA
Srinagar, Publish Date: Dec 15 2017 12:25AM | Updated Date: Dec 15 2017 12:25AM
Sluggish pace of work hits Children’s Hospital at BeminaRepresentational Pic

Signifying non-seriousness of the government to improve pediatric healthcare facilities in Kashmir, sluggish pace of work has severely affected the under-construction Children’s Hospital at Bemina here.  

Of the Rs 22 crore allocated for the project under the Prime Minister’s Developmental Package (PMDP) for Jammu and Kashmir, only Rs six crore have been spent on the project during the past two years, according to the information accessed by Greater Kashmir.

“The GB Pant Children’s Hospital is overburdened and its facilities stretched to the limit. Still the authorities concerned show no urgency to complete the Bemina hospital,” said a source at the Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar.

He said health and medical education (H&ME) department has not been pursuing the project vigorously. “Roads and Building department which is building the project appears to be above accountability. The project was slated to be completed and handed over to the authorities concerned in 2015. Two years down the line there is no progress,” he added.

GMC authorities had conveyed its concern over the delay to the H&ME department on several occasions in the past. “But there has been no response or action. The government is not fixing the responsibility for delay in completion of the project,” said the official. 

He said the issue came up for discussion during a review of the PMDP projects by the Union home secretary in New Delhi on 30 November 2017.

“The state government authorities were told in clear terms to ensure completion of the projects. The state government has also been told to provide regular updates about the projects running behind the schedule,” said the official.

The government has also not pursued with the Union health ministry the proposal seeking all five floors of the upcoming building at Bemina for Children’s Hospital. A part of the hospital has been reserved for maternity services.

The official said the GMC had told the government that besides the 700-bedded LD Maternity Hospital, there were maternity sections at SKIMS Soura and SKIMS Medical College Hospital Bemina also.

He said health experts and the GMC had communicated to the state government that it was the Children’s Hospital that needed augmentation as there were less than 200 beds for the entire pediatric population of Kashmir, estimated to be around 30 lakh.

In 2015, then Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayed had announced that two additional floors would be added to the under-construction maternity hospital at Bemina and reserved for paediatric care.

However, the plan had faced criticism, with experts arguing that two floors would not suffice the needs of a children hospital in terms of either space or infrastructure.