12 years on, Bandipora hospital misses another deadline

12 years on, Bandipora hospital misses another deadline

Bandipora: Twelve years after it was sanctioned, and nine years into construction, the building for district hospital Bandipora has missed another deadline set by the authorities.
The hospital was sanctioned in 2007 with J&K Housing Board selected as the executing agency for construction.
The work started in 2010, and the earliest deadline was set for 2015, with a promise of building one of the best hospitals in the state.
In recent years, successive district administrators have set up deadlines and promised to make hospital functional with months.
With all deadlines missed, meanwhile, increase in population over the years has rendered the old hospital incapable of tacking the rush with outdated infrastructure.
The latest deadline was set by incumbent Deputy Commissioner Bandipora Shahbaz Mirza, who on March 20, during an inspection to the hospital, directed technical works to be completed with a month, so that the hospital is made functional by April-end.
In recent years, at least three district magistrates had set time frames, assuring completion of the hospital within months.
Before Mirza, former Deputy Commissioner, Shahid Choudhary had promised to make the hospital partially functional by February this year. Prior to that, the hospital was flagged among one of the 34 languishing projects with an additional grant of 3.43 crores for early completion.
The local medical officers have, however, constantly differed with the administration’s promises.
In 2018, then DC Bandipora Khurshid Ahmad Sanai promised the hospital to be made “functional in June” that year. Then Chief Medical Officer Dr Bilques had differed with the view stating that “pending massive internal works will eat up 2018 too”.
Even now hospital officials say major internal works, which started in 2015, are pending including an “operation theatre” without which hospital was unlikely to be shifted any soon. Besides that, the lifts, heating system and other internal works are still to be completed, Block Medical Officer Bandipora Dr Syed Rehman said.
Dr Rehman bemoaned that if the constructing agency “wishes” it would be completed in two months, “but they are not paying any heed despite repeated requests”.
Local residents at Nussu, where the hospital is coming up, see prospects of further delay.
“Though the authorities say that technical and finishing works are consuming time, the fencing and the shifting of bus stand from its vicinity hasn’t been done yet which will likely lead to more delay in the integration of the hospital,” a local resident said.
“Three governments have changed, Governor rules passed, but the hospital is like a dead skeleton standing witness for a time gone by,” Ubair, a local youth quipped.
Repeated queries and phone calls regarding the issue to Deputy Commissioner Bandipora Shahbaz Mirza by this reporter were not answered.