SRINAGAR: The 500-bed maternity-cum-paediatric hospital at Bemina, under construction since 2011, has been occupied by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) since last week.
The whole land of the building has been demarcated with barbed wires and bunkers have been erected on all sides. Bunkers have been also built on the front balconies on every floor.
The building is located only a few hundred meters from the CRPF headquarters.
Makeshift tents, mobile bunkers, tin-sheds and makeshift toilets surround the whole building and CRPF vehicles can be seen parked on the site.
Locals said that since last week they started noticing the CRPF movement in the building, which they said is “increasing” every day.
“This building was under construction and only labourers used to work and live there temporarily, but since last week CRPF made these bunkers all over the place,” a local said.
“Their movement is increasing every day. Each day, trucks and buses carrying additional personnel are placed there. It looks like a full-fledged camp now,” he added.
In October 2015, the then Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed had told the media: “I have been promised by Minister of Roads and Buildings that the project would be fast-tracked and by 2016, we shall have it ready for use.”
Naeem Akhter, current Minister of Public Works, during his February visit to the hospital had said that the government would start the functioning of the hospital “this year”. He had termed the project of “vital significance” which will “decrease the workload” on other major hospitals in the city, especially on Lal Ded maternity hospital.
When the Public Relations Officer of CRPF was contacted about this development, he said he had “no information in this regard”.
When Kashmir Reader called Government Medical College Principal, Dr Samia Rashid, she said “she is not the authority to talk on the matter” and dropped the call.
The Bemina hospital is being built at a cost of Rs 45.98 crore. Funds of Rs 25 crore were allocated to the paediatric hospital component but it missed the original deadline in the year 2015.