Anantnag: More than eighteen years after it was sanctioned, the under-construction Sub-District Hospital (SDH) in Qaimoh area of Kulgam district is yet to be handed over to the health department, even as a huge chunk of the population remains entirely dependent on a Primary Health Centre (PHC) for their health care needs.
The hospital was sanctioned way back in 2003 and the estimated cost of construction was 19 crore rupees, a source in the health department told Kashmir Reader.
“The aim was to enhance the health care system in the area as dozens of villages adjacent to Khodweni and Qaimoh areas remain dependent on the existing PHC in the area for their health care needs,” an official of the health department told Kashmir Reader.
The project, however, remained a non-starter for more than five years and it was only in 2008 that the construction on the project was started, albeit at a really sluggish pace.
While some people in the district administration maintained that the funding on the project was slow, some others blamed the meddling of local politicians in the project for the delay.
“Whatever the reasons, the work on the project came to a grinding halt in 2016 and remained abandoned for more than two years at a stretch,” the sources said, adding that the work on the project was started in around 2018 again, after the inclusion of the project in the Prime Minister’s development fund.
Sources maintained that the work has remained largely unsatisfactory, despite the inclusion of the project in the PM’s development fund.
“All we have been hearing about is deadlines. One deadline after another has been set for the completion of the project and it still remains incomplete,” the locals of the area told Kashmir Reader.
The people in the area have to travel either to Anantnag or main town Kulgam for treatment, beyond the cough, cold, and fever. “We thought the health care will get better here but the wait has been too long,” the locals said.
Kashmir Reader talked to the Block Medical Officer, Dr. Abdul Gani, who said that the project is near completion. “The deadline has been set for December but I think the interiors might take a bit more time than that. I expect the building to be handed over to us in April next year,” the BMO said.