PULWAMA — Three years on, work on construction of a 100-bed maternity hospital in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district has yet not begun.
In order to meet the growing health issues of women, government identified around 112 kanals of land in Pulwama town for building a 100-bed maternity hospital at a cost of around Rs 12 crores. But there has been little progress in this regard with notice board and constructing an entrance road.
According to an official familiar with the project, it would have benefited people in two districts, Pulwama and Shopian, and would have reduced referral rates to Srinagar maternity hospital to a large extent.
“It was a long-pending demand of the people and would have mitigated referrals to city hospitals or to other districts, but there is no progress on the project,” he said, adding it appears that the administration has abandoned the project.
While speaking to CNS, locals said that the administration promised them a maternity hospital would be built in the town in response to demands for better maternity care, but official indifference has dashed their hopes.
They said that the site was identified in the area following extensive negotiations with the administration. “There was a debate over the designation of land for the hospital, and residents succeeded in acquiring the hospital in the area after rising pressure on the administration,” Nazir Ahmad, a local said.
“We had run from pillar to post to get this hospital sanctioned here, but the facility is still not being constructed despite a three-year delay,” Ghulam Nabi, another local, said.
Locals said that the facility would have enhanced maternity care while also reducing patient travel time. “It would have offered us better and timely healthcare facilities at our doorstep. It would have saved us both time and money,” a local said.
They said that the authorities had previously relocated the hospital to another part of the district and that it was only after repeated protests that the land at the current location was identified. “The current site is a convenient location for people because it is located in the main town,” they added.
Meanwhile, locals have appealed to Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to personally look into the matter and issue immediate orders for the construction of the hospital at an earliest.