Project seems to have been shelved, say sources in Health dept
Anantnag: Land for a maternity hospital here in Pulwama town was identified three years ago, but there has since been no headway in the project – leaving thousands of patients still dependent on the Maternity and Child Care Hospital (MCCH) in Anantnag, the only one in south Kashmir region.
Years of pleading by the general public led the government to identify more than 100 kanals of land, within the main town Pulwama, for a maternity hospital. “The hospital was to be completed at an estimated cost of around 12 crore rupees,” a source in the district administration told Kashmir Reader.
The source, however, said that the project seems to have been shelved by the government, as it is yet to be sanctioned under any funds or schemes.
“The only thing that remains of the project is a signboard near the identified land and an entrance road constructed soon after the land was identified,” the source said.
The south Kashmir region, which spans Anantnag, Pulwama, Shopian, and Kulgam districts, continues to remain dependent on the single maternity hospital situated in Sherbagh area of main town Anantnag.
The MCCH in Anantnag is heavily over-worked and is frequented by people from across south Kashmir as well as the Chenab valley region. “A maternity hospital here in Pulwama would have meant that people from across Shopian and Pulwama districts would have benefited,” Ghulam Muhammad Khan, a resident of Pulwama town, told Kashmir Reader.
“Our footfall at MCCH would have been cut down by hundreds, if not thousands, if a maternity hospital were to come up in Pulwama,” a source in the Health department told Kashmir Reader.
Also, for the people of Shopian and Pulwama, a lot of precious time is always lost while they ferry the patients to MCCH Anantnag. “It often takes us more than an hour to reach Anantnag, which in case of critical patients is a lot of time. All this time could have been saved,” residents in Pulwama said.
It was keeping all this in consideration that the maternity hospital in Pulwama was proposed and land for it was identified. Unfortunately, however, there has been no further action, dashing the hopes of people in Pulwama.
“No one is even telling us what went wrong with the proposal,” the residents in Pulwama lamented. “They should at least let us know that the project has been shelved; then we will stop hoping against hope,” they said.
Kashmir Reader tried talking to Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Pulwama, Dr Haseena, who did not respond to the text query despite repeated phone calls by this reporter. “I am busy,” remained her only answer on every phone call made to her.