Srinagar: Twelve years after the J&K government announced a multi-crore trauma hospital project on the Srinagar-Baramulla highway at Lawaypora, the facility is yet to start functioning due to the callous approach of state Health Department.
Official sources told Kashmir Reader that the prestigious project had turned into a non-starter as the Health Department had failed to pursue the venture with the Government of India (GoI) for the release of the necessary funds.
“The project was scheduled to be completed by the end of 2009 after the then Minister for Finance, Planning and Development, Tariq Hameed Karra, laid the foundation stone in 2007. But it was not finished because of the lack of funds,” said a senior health department official on condition of anonymity.
“The project had been taken up in 2005-06 with a cost allocation of Rs 3.41 crore for a two-storey construction. However, work on a third storey has been later taken up illegally, and the project cost has been revised at Rs 6.41 crore, which forced the project to halt following the shortage of funds,” the official said.
The details that sources furnished have been corroborated by an official letter written to the state Health Minister by the Minister of Public Works, Naeem Akhtar, asking that the necessary amount be released.
“A cumulative expenditure of Rs 3.11 crore has been made so far, besides there is work done liability of Rs 70 lakh,” reads the letter dated June 17, a copy of which is with Kashmir Reader.
“The structural work including the truss work is already completed up to second floor, except for the doors and windows,” Naeem Akhtar says in the letter.
“I was given to understand that after the availability of Rs 1 crore, the Trauma Centre could be made functional. Accordingly, it is requested that an amount of Rs 1 crore may kindly be made available so that the work of Trauma Centre could be started soon,” Akhtar says, adding that the completion of the third storey could be taken up later on the availability of more funds.
The GoI’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had funded various projects for the strengthening of emergency facilities at government-run hospitals along the national highways.
In Kashmir, the GoI sanctioned nine Trauma Care Centres at Leh, Kargil, Gund, Qazigund, Lowermunda, Bijbehara, Lawaypora, Rafiabad and Anantnag to minimise the death rate due to highway accidents.
The centres were supposed to function all 24 hours to handle emergency trauma cases, especially those caused in road accidents, with the help of the latest equipment and experts.