Tral: For the last 21 years, people in Tral township of Pulwama district are awaiting the completion of a new 50-bedded building block of Sub District Hospital (SDH) Tral. The construction on the new building was started after the old hospital block was found insufficient to cater to the huge patient inflow.
Locals complained of slow pace of work at the new hospital. “I don’t think this hospital will be completed in near future,” said Mir Shahnawaz, who lives close to the under-construction new hospital building. “At the time of foundation, the officials had set a deadline of four years for completion of the hospital. Since then several deadlines have passed but the hospital is still incomplete.” The locals in the area said that the government has failed to complete the project within stipulated time. “The foundation stone for the construction of SDH was laid way back in 1997-98 and since then only one block was completed in 2010, while main IPD block is awaiting completion,” said another local resident, Ali Mohammad Sheikh, adding that various construction agencies missed several deadlines in the past, failing to complete the project.
The construction work on the project, with an estimated cost of 7.70 crores, was started 21 years ago, but funds shortage marred the project involving executing agencies Jammu and Kashmir Projects Construction Corporation (JKPCC) and Road & Buildings (R&B) department.
Officials said the funds were never released on time which delayed the project. “Even the liabilities of the works executed by three contractors are pending. If government clears all the past liabilities and releases funds for the pending work on time, the building will be completed within few weeks,” said an official.
An official from SDH Tral said around 200455 patients visited the Out Patients Department (OPD) of the hospital last year. During the same period, officials said, 6954 patients were admitted in wards (IPD) and about 632 major and 1847 minor surgeries were performed in the hospital.
Both the patients and doctors are suffering due to the space constraints and paucity of beds in the OPD building from which the hospital is currently functioning.
“For us it was a vital project,” said a doctor posted at SDH Tral. “Various facilities including blood storage unit, doppler, digital X-ray machine are not being used due to lack of space in the current hospital building. The new IPD block could have set things right but unfortunately its completion is being delayed,” he said, adding that new IPD building can make available additional wards and OPD rooms.
The gynecology ward of the hospital is also overburdened. “Doctors can’t work in such a small space as there’s no place even to sit,” said a medico from the gynecology section. “The gynecological ward and the Operation Theatre have no space.”
When contacted, director health services Kashmir, Dr Saleem-u-Rehman said the new hospital building will be soon made functional. “For such huge projects, funding is always a problem but very soon we will take over the new building,” said Dr Saleem.