By Shafat Mir
Bijbehara: Declared unsafe by the Roads and Buildings (R&B) department over two years ago, the building of the Sub-District Hospital (SDH) of Bijbehara in Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s home town, is yet to be repaired. In the absence of safety measures by the authorities, the lives of the patients and the staff remain at risk.
After conducting the safety audit of the building the district R&B authorities declared the structure unsafe for accommodation owing to the massive cracks it developed during the devastating floods in 2014.
According to the report prepared by the then executive engineer R&B, division Khanabal, Showkat Ahmad Dar, “The building of SDH Bijbehara located on the left side of the highway remained submerged up to the floor of the ground floor in flood waters due to which it got damaged. As per the report submitted by the AEE R&B, sub-division Bijbehara, vide no. 424-SBD, the inner walls of some blocks in ground floor are showing cracks in superstructure as well as Kota stone flooring in ground floor. Flooring of the ground floor has also sunken at the center of the inpatient ward.”
One double storey block with CGI sheet roofing, located within the premises of the main old building, has deviated around 6-9 inch from ground to first floor.
“It is to report that in view of the present condition of the structure it is unsafe for accommodation. The building as such be kept under observation for a period of one month and after which safety of the building shall be communicated accordingly. It is as such requested that the concerned authorities may please be apprised about the condition of the building accordingly so that any kind of untoward incident is avoided,” the report further reads.
No measures have been taken, till date, by the authorities to repair the damage to these parts of the building. “After the building was declared unsafe the top health authorities visited the hospital only to ensure that it starts functioning without giving a damn about the report declaring the building unsafe by the R&B engineers,” fumed a staffer wishing anonymity.
“Lately the Kashmir valley has seen a spurt in moderate intensity of earthquakes and one wonders if there is a major quake, and building collapses, whom will the authorities blame,” said a doctor posted there.
“If the building has been declared unsafe then it is the job of the health authorities to arrange the funds for its repair. We are supposed to provide the technical support if the concerned authorities approach us for the same,” says an R&B official.
Chief Medical Officer Anantnag Dr Fazil Ali Kochak claimed to have already written about the issue to the R&B officials but has received no response.
Speaking to Kashmir Reader the Assistant Executive Engineer of R&B’s Bijbehera division, Mushtaq Ahmed, said, “The higher ups directed for a wait and watch and we didn’t initiate any repairs because of that. We also did not receive any further communication from the health department to repair this building. We have also sent the estimates for repairs and so far we have not received the funds for the same.”