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PGI spends funds on needless repairs

india Updated: Aug 25, 2006 01:32 IST
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ABOUT THREE months ago, the State Government sanctioned Rs 9 crore for repair of broken or breaking down portions of the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS).

The institute’s administration, instead of using the funds for what they were meant, pumped it into “unwarranted” renovation. Further, the SGPGIMS administration also misinformed the State Government about it when eyebrows were raised.

Tiles are replacing the concrete and mosaic of all hospital corridors. Besides, aluminum windows are replacing the iron window-panels. “This is absurd wastage of such a lot of money. The original wall surfaces and windows are almost flawless with no sign of any wear and tear, cracks etc. A good wash with detergent was all they needed. That’s all.

They were so tough that labourers have to work very hard to dismantle the original surfaces. An entire floor reverberates when the labourers are trying to dismantle them. Further, everyone knows that tiles cannot match the strength of mosaic,” says a member of the faculty forum of SGPGIMS.

“This is all ornamental work. And has ‘interests’ other than patients’, doctors’ or visitors’ interests,” said another doctor hinting at corruption going on in the institute in construction and repair activities. 

About two-and-a-half months ago the renovation work began. And immediately, various sections of staff—faculty, doctors, nurses or other staff members—individually and in groups, raised eyebrows at the work.

So much so that the issue had reached the Governing Body meeting that took place two months ago. When questioned, the then director of the institute reported to the GB meeting headed by the Chief Secretary, that the work would be stalled.

However, work never stopped.

A few faculty members, even videographed (with date and time tag) the ‘work in progress’, post the GB meeting.

Now work is in full swing. Approximately one-fourth of the total work on the ground floor is over. And it is in progress on other floors too. An engineer at the Engineering Department of SGPGIMS said that the corridors of all seven floors would get an identical look. “What is the benefit of replacing mosaic with tiles? It is neither in the interest of the patients or doctors. Meanwhile, the Patients’ Residential Accommodation (PRA), the paid residences for patients relatives and doctors’ residences need repairs. Despite the massive expenditure, it has no potential to bring comfort to patients, doctors or in any area by which the institute may generate revenue,” said a senior officer of the SGPGIMS administration. These tiles and windows are not even strong. It is only a matter of time that they will start chipping, cracking and falling off.

Renovation hitting all

The renovation work is hitting patients and hospital services. A surgeon anguished over the havoc that renovation is playing, said: “Our operation theatres and ICUs and ICCUs need to be dust-free all the time. But the dismantling work, cement and gravel piles and dust rising from them enters operation theatres and ICUs and ICCUs. I had to cancel a couple of operations, as the dust just might prove dangerous during critical operations and critical post-operative care of such patients.”

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