Ten years after laying its foundation, the Delhi government’s Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital in east Delhi, which was supposed to start functioning in March, has missed its deadline yet again.
The 650-bed hospital, which was built on an initial budget of R90 crore, was designed to run on a public-private partnership (PPP) model but it did not work out. The state government had also requested the Centre to run the hospital, but it hardly showed any interest.
“Officials from the Central government had even visited the hospital but they didn’t take any action. They were taking a lot of time, so we have decided to run the hospital on our own. Change of guards was the reason for the delay,” said Delhi Health Minister Ashok Kumar Walia.
“The PPP model also didn’t work out. The tenders were floated, terms and conditions were laid down, a few companies had applied but none gave quotations. Moreover, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), which had given us the land for construction of the hospital, did not want us to outsource its functioning to the Central government,” he added.
Sources said the Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital, one of its kind in east Delhi, would have catered to thousands of patients from the region and the neighbouring states.
The minister also stated that in 2007-08 the construction work was stopped as the PPP model had become a bone of contention. The PPP model was scrapped in 2011. “We have started work recently and hope to finish it by this year. We’ve further sanctioned Rs 60 crore and handed over the work to PWD to complete the installation of gas pipeline and the IPD works. Reservation was an issue in the enrollment of doctors but we’ll start recruiting soon under the UPSC selection process. We’ve also appointed a director for the hospital,” the minister stated.
The Medical Superintendent of the hospital, Dr Sunil Khatri, refused to comment when contacted.