The bathroom has deep cracks in the wall and a ceiling covered with a layer of moss. Dampness creeps out of a fresh coat of white paint in one of the newly-refurbished rooms at Rajendra Prasad Centre (RPC- II) allotted last week to Dr Sarah Gomes (name changed on request), a junior resident at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
"I called up building department officials about the condition of walls, but they said they had been renovated recently, and this is the best they could do," said Gomes. "The walls have cracks, which are a home to insects, dust and mould. The hospital administration doesn't care how we live," she said.
The AIIMS engineering department had declared the hostels unsafe five years ago. Successive renovations since then seem to have had no effect, with deep cracks, windows hanging on hinges or damp walls at RPC-I and II-the hostel buildings of AIIMS.
Despite this, almost 53 families of resident doctors are housed in the hostels.
The doctors said they had no option but to reside here.
"The administration has been promising a new hostel from the past several years now, but they are all only verbal assurances. Nothing is translated into action," said a third year senior residency doctor on the condition of anonymity.
"There are accidents every now and then. During the three years that I spent at AIIMS, there have been two instances when parts of the ceiling came falling down. The administration won't do anything until a mishap takes place or the police intervenes," said the doctor.
It's imperative for resident doctors to stay on the campus as they mostly do ward duties at night. "If we don't live in the RPC block, then we will have to find off-campus housing in the nearby areas, which is quite expensive," said a resident doctor.
"Moreover, it is not safe for women residents to live off the campus, as several incidents of eve-teasing and molestation have been reported by doctors," said another doctor.
When HT contacted administration officials, they said that they were aware of the problem.
"We are working towards building a new hostel block but there are hindrances," said an AIIMS official, not wishing to be named.