4 yrs on, SMHS hospital without burn rehab center

Rs 6.5 crore sanctioned by GoI but R&B dept delays the project

Srinagar: Kashmir’s premier health institution—SMHS Hospital is yet to come-up with the Burn Management and Rehabilitation Center despite sanction by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for Rs 6.5 crore project in 2015.
According to sources, the multi-crore project missed almost ten deadlines in the past because the construction process was halted several times by the executing agency—R&B department’s hospital wing.
“The project has already been delayed for three years now,” said an official of the Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar.
He said the rehab center project was never the priority for R&B department even as the GoI Health Ministry had taken strong note of the delay.
“The health ministry has also enquired many times about the inordinate delay in the construction project,” the official said.
An administrator at SMHS Hospital told Kashmir Reader that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had written three letters to the health and medical education department and sought progress and fund utilization report. However, the department failed to communicate promptly due to setback in the venture.
The burn rehab center was approved by government of India in 2015 for setting up 12-bed ward with 8 intensive care unit (ICU) beds and a separate operation theatre dedicated exclusively to treat burn injuries.
The money was also sanctioned for the state-of-art facilities in the GMC associated hospital. The funds were approved on 90:10 sharing format between government of India and local government in the erstwhile state of J&K.
J&K has recorded a sharp increase in burn and acid injury cases in last five years, of which many succumbed to injuries. As per records around 70 % of all burn injuries occur in the most productive age group (15-35 years) and around four out of five burn victims are women and children.
Medical Superintendent SMHS Hospital, Dr Nazir Choudhary admitted delay in the project. He also accused R&B department for it.
“There is no halt from our side. Please ask R&B department about it,” he said.
Chief Engineer R&B, Sami Arif told Kashmir Reader that the department had already expedited the project and it will complete soon.
“There were issues in the project as we had to remove some old buildings at the construction site that is why there was some delay but we have instructed the workers and engineers to complete the project as soon as possible,” he said.

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