16 years on, District Hospital Qaimoh nowhere near competition

KULGAM: Sixteen years after it was sanctioned and more than 12 years after the work began on it, the Sub-District Hospital in Qaimoh area of Kulgam remains awaits completion.
The 50-bed hospital was sanctioned as an up-gradation to the existing Primary Health Centre (PHC) by the then government in 2003. An estimated Rs 19 crore were cleared for construction of the three blocks of the hospital and the work was entrusted to Roads and Buildings Department (R&B).
The work, as per officials in the health department, began four years later in 2007.
“The work was sluggish as funds remained meagre on the project. Then in early 2014, the work was altogether put to a halt due to lack of funds on the project and some political meddling,” a source said.
Then in 2018 the project was brought under the Prime Minister’s Development Fund. The work, however, despite that has remained sluggish.
“Last year Rs 5 crore released for the hospital got lapsed as no work was done against which the money could have been utilized,” the source in the health department told Kashmir Reader.
All this while the people dependent on the hospital have been living without proper health care facility and wait for this project to be completed.
The lack of hospital has forced dozens of villagers to travel to adjoining districts for medical attention. Residents said that they have been keenly following the progress on the hospital but seem far from competition.
Executive Engineer R&B for Kulgam, Muhammad Siddiq said that the work on the first floors will be started sometime in March next year.
“There were some issues to be sorted out with the contractor. He had not submitted the APS money and then he was adamant that he will use the steel he wants, which failed safety tests conducted by us,” Siddiq said.
He said that after sorting out all the issues with the contractor the work has been going on quite well on the project. He, however, could not give any deadline for completing the works.
“The steel is being laid for the concrete slab to be laid in February or March next year. Soon after, the work on the first floor will be started. We are moving at good pace,” Siddiq said.

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