People in Imam Sahib await new hospital building while years pass by

People in Imam Sahib await new hospital building while years pass by

SHOPIAN: More than three decades on, the primary health centre (PHC) at Imam Sahib Tehsil headquarters in Shopian district continues to languish in a rundown rented building while the new building sanctioned for it is yet to be constructed. This is despite the government’s decision to build a ‘new type primary health centre’ (NTPHC) here.

According to official data, the new hospital building was to be constructed with Rs 234 lakh of funds, but only Rs 17 lakh were released by the government till the end of 2019.

More than three dozen villages in the area are dependent for health care services on this PHC. According to locals, this health centre started functioning in 1982 but its own building was not raised. It has been functioning from a rented building ever since.

Locals said that the health centre lacks a modern building and infrastructure. “The foundation of a new building was laid in 2014 but it seems the government will take two more decades to complete it. The reason obviously is that we have no such representative who could have pressed for its construction,” Sheeraz Ahmad Koka, a local shopkeeper, said.

Locals informed Kashmir Reader that about 35 villages are dependent on this health centre. They allege that the area has been abandoned by successive governments and the same is the attitude of the lieutenant governor’s administration.

Junaid Ahmad, a villager, said that if the new building for this hospital had been completed soon, it would have reduced the huge patient load on the district hospital, besides providing relief to the many villagers who are forced to travel long distances even in emergency.

Locals said that initially the work on the hospital building was started but since then the construction has been all but abandoned.

A group of locals told Kashmir Reader that even after repeated demonstrations, their demands were not fulfilled. They said that similar health centres which were sanctioned post 2014-15 have been completed in the district and are also functional, but theirs is the lone one which has been abandoned.

An official from the health department, however, said that the construction of the building is going on in full swing and will be completed very soon.

Dr Arshad Hussain Tak, Chief Medical Officer Shopian, told Kashmir Reader that he will look into the matter.

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