New land acquired to start construction afresh
KULGAM: After spending almost half of the allocated funds on the construction of a modern sub-district hospital in D H Pora here, authorities have abandoned the building as well as the site, citing it “unapproachable”.
The Rs 16 crore project to construct a modern Sub-District Hospital was started by the previous government but abandoned midway by the present dispensation after finding it “unapproachable” for the “general public”.
The opposition National Conference (NC) however alleges that the decision to halt the construction was taken on political lines and has nothing to do with the location of the hospital.
The project was sanctioned in 2008 and the construction was subsequently taken up on the new building during the tenure of the NC-Congress coalition government.
Sources in the Health department told Kashmir Reader that around half of the construction was completed on the building when People’s Democratic Party (PDP) led coalition government took over.
“Almost 8 crore rupees of the funds earmarked had already been utilized when the present dispensation felt that the hospital was located on an elevated ground and would be difficult for the people to approach,” a source said.
Now, the sources say, a new piece of land has been acquired and the construction will start afresh for the SDH.
“All this while the locals continues to suffer as the overburdened shanty building of the existing SDH is the only health centre at their disposal,” the sources added.
Deputy Commissioner (DC) Kulgam, Talat Parvez Rohella, confirmed that the project stands officially abandoned.
“The Social Welfare department have acquired the under construction building and they will use it as a hostel. A new piece of centrally located land has been acquired for the construction of the SDH,” Rohella said.
Former lawmaker of Noorabad constituency, Sakina Ittoo of the NC, argues that abandoning the project had political connotations.
“The new MLA took it personally and has been misleading the authorities about the location of the hospital,” Ittoo told Kashmir Reader, adding that the henchmen of the MLA have been taking pictures of the hospital’s rear end and showing them to authorities to make them believe that the building cannot be approached easily.
“Half of the building is complete. How would you think the construction material was carried if the place was unapproachable as argued by these people,” she asked.
The present MLA, Abdul Majeed Padroo, refutes the allegations though.
“If the authorities find the building fit for a hospital to be located in it, I have no issues,” Padroo said.
Politics or not the local population will have to wait another many years before they get a proper hospital for their health care needs in place of the rundown building overburdened with the footfall it receives.