Location of SDH changed in 2016 when police station was burnt down
Anantnag: Twelve years after it was sanctioned, the Sub-District Hospital (SDH) in Damhal Hanjipora (DH Pora) area of Kulgam district remains far from completion. Sources say that “political meddling” led to a change of location for the hospital when most of the construction had been completed already.
The SDH was sanctioned during the National Conference (NC)-Congress regime in the year 2008. Rs 16 crore was earmarked for the hospital and the construction was handed over to the Police Housing Board Corporation.
“A major chunk of construction was completed during the NC-Congress regime but a couple of years after the government changed in 2014, when the PDP took over the reins of the state, it was said that the hospital was unapproachable for the general public,” sources in the Health department told Kashmir Reader.
They said that the construction was left midway and a new spot was chosen for the hospital building. “The police station that was burnt down by protestors during the unrest of 2016 was chosen as the new location for the hospital, while the old hospital building was marked to be the new police station,” the sources said.
Locals allege that the decision had political connotations and there was no truth to the excuse that the building was unapproachable for the general public. “We have been suffering without a proper hospital building for decades now and we were happy when the new hospital was sanctioned. But I guess we might have to wait for another decade before the new building is completed now,” the residents lamented.
Local sources said that the work on the new building has been dismal, to say the least.
“Only columns have been erected and the work has been moving ever so slowly. If the same pace continues, we do not think the work will ever be completed,” the residents said.
Highly placed sources in the Health department acknowledged that the work has been going on slowly. They said that despite repeated nudges, the executing agency has been moving at its own pace.
“We have been sending them constant reminders but to no avail,” the sources in the Health department said.
Deputy Commissioner (DC) Kulgam Showkat Ahmad said that he has visited the spot a couple of times and has taken stock of the ongoing work. “They have laid the concrete for the first floor as well. The work has been going on smoothly,” the DC said.
He said that bad weather has meant that the work has been suspended but it will be started soon as the weather gets better. “I will ensure its timely completion soon after the weather gets better,” he said.