The 'unwarranted'renovation work at the Sanjay Gandhi Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS) has started ‘claiming’ victims. The first one turned out to be an Institute staffer on Saturday. A huge tile weighing over 5 kg fell off the wall and badly injured a woman employee’s head and face before falling to the floor and shattering into pieces.
Ramdeyee, the senior attendant, at the office of the Medical Superintendent of the Institute, said: “I was walking through the corridor carrying a file when the tile hit my head. Even before I could recover from the shock, I noticed blood flowing down and soaking my clothes. I was rushed to the Emergency and attended here. The incident happened at about 10.45 am and two hours later, I am still feeling as if someone is hammering my head.”
The incident triggered raised tempers as SGPGIMS staff had objected to renovation work that began in May-June last year. Hindustan Times carried several stories till October last year, but the work continued. The stories had questioned the need and quality of renovation.
Reacting to the incident SGPGIMS employees started pulling off the tiles to prevent more mishaps. Weakness of the tiles’ placement on the walls is evident from the fact that the employees were able to pull them off the walls with bare fingers. Pulled off tiles made it apparent that hardly any adhesive was put between the tiles and walls. It was but for a home guard’s explanation that the employees did not start pulling off the tiles and smashing them to the floor. The home guard told them that it would amount to vandalism.
Medical Superintendent Dr AK Bhatt who reached the accident site said, “The Engineer Wing of the institute is the culprit.” Hundreds of the thousands of tiles put on the wall of the seven-storey hospital tower are coming off.
In a way, Ramdeyee is not the first victim of the renovation. Earlier, renovation work, indirectly, had claimed a life when Satyaprakash a kidney transplant patient had jumped off the modular aluminum window of his third floor ward.
The renovation work had replaced all the iron windows with modular aluminum windows. Previous windows had grilles. After the suicide, the administration put locks on all the windows.
HT had warned about this...
What has started now was apprehended clearly in a report carried by Hindustan Times in August, 2006.
A senior surgeon and some employees had said in the report that the tiles would start falling off in few year. But they have started falling within months!
Misusing Rs 9 crore of State Government funds poor renovation work has been done at the PGI on a large scale. The fund had been granted for repairs and not renovation.
The concrete and mosaic surface in all corridors of the hospital buildings were replaced by tiled surfaces. Along with this, modular aluminum windows replaced iron window-panels.
A senior surgeon at the institute in the report had said: “This is absurd wastage of such a huge fund. The original wall surfaces and windows are all almost flawless with no sign of any wear and tear, cracks etc. Tiles are being needlessly used. Everyone knows that tiles cannot match strength of mosaic.”
“This is just ornamental. And is in the ‘interest’ of others than patients, doctors or visitors,” had said another doctor hinting at corruption in construction and repairs activities.