SKIMS parks out-of-bounds for patients and attendants

SKIMS parks out-of-bounds for patients and attendants
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Parks closed as people have no civic sense: officials

SRINAGAR: “Numerous lush green parks @SKIMS Soura but I fail to understand what purpose these parks are serving when not even a single attendant is allowed to sit when they are pushed out of the wards in the name of rounds,” flashed a post on social media on Thursday.
Raja Bilal Azaad, a PhD from Maulana Azad National Urdu University and co-founder of the Azaad Students Federation, wrote this post from SKIMS Soura while his father was on a ventilator, battling for his life in the emergency ward.
“I came from Hyderabad a couple of days before after I heard the news about my father. During the early hours of the day when the doctors come for the daily rounds I went outside for the convenience of the doctors and to avoid the rush. I was stressed and thought of sitting in the park for some time, but the security guards stopped me and said I cannot sit in the park,” says Raja Bilal, who was visibly taken aback.
There are around 10-15 big and small, well-maintained parks in the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) premises, but they are kept out-of-bounds for patients and attendants consulting the hospital’s doctors. According to Raja, his mother also has to “sit on the road” from morning to afternoon while waiting for the rounds to end. Several other patients and attendants, Raja said, were in the same situation.
According to official sources, the order to restrict the entry of people into the parks was issued in 2016 by the then director of the institute after complaints of littering by the attendants and of people from outside who used to loiter in the parks.
Security Incharge SKIMS Mohammad Ashraf said that the parks are basically maintained to keep “a cool and hygienic environment” in the hospital for the benefit of the patients and attendants who also used to sit there. However the parks were closed after complaints by the institute’s Landscape department about garbage and damage to the trees.
“We used to allow attendants to sit and eat there, but then after the complaints the decision to close them for the public was taken. Despite installing dustbins and a lot of awareness, people still used to trash the place,” said Mohammad Ashraf. “During the tenure of the previous director, we opened the parks again for more than six months. but people showed no civic sense. Our focus was shifted from the hospital to the cleaning of the parks, which created a lot of problems.”
Replying to a question about an alternative facility, Ashraf said that there is an attendant shed outside the emergency ward and the canteen facility is also provided to the attendants.
Director SKIMS Prof Omar Javed Shah voiced the same concerns and said the people coming from nearby areas and “sitting unnecessarily” had created “security issues” and they were a “nuisance” for the smooth functioning of the institute.
“See we tried our best, the parks are for the people who come to the hospital for treatment and for their attendants, but people used to come from outside to sit here, thus creating security issues. They even created holes in the walls for their easy access,” Prof Omar said.
“The garbage left by the people after sitting in the park was also a huge problem. We had installed dustbins also and our security men used to take rounds and create awareness, but it seems that people here do not listen. So we were forced to close the parks,” the Director added.
However, he said that for the convenience of the people another facility is coming up near the OPD which is visited by thousands of people daily.
“If the people of the nearby area assure that they would not trespass and that only patients and the attendants use the parks, we will throw them open again. Even if they throw garbage, we will clean it on a daily basis, but the outside movement has to be stopped,” the Director reiterated.