Ammonia gas leak: Few still await free medical aid

  • Tarsem Singh Deogan, Hindustan Times, Doraha
  • Updated: Jun 15, 2015 13:40 IST

Some of the victims of Doraha's ammonia gas leak are still waiting for free-of-cost medical aid that was promised to be given by the administration. While the authorities are giving the free-of-cost aid to most of major hospitals that are taking care of the gas leak victims, it seems to be ignorant of those victims who have been admitted to Rajwant Hospital, which is at a hand's distance from the incident spot.

A family, which was admitted to Rajwant Hospital at Doraha, had to pay `15,000 on their own for medicines and tests, as the authorities were not even aware that patients affected by the gas leak were present at the hospital.

Shamsher Singh, a resident of the Railway road, Doraha, said, “As some relatives came to visit us, we were talking to each other till late at night. When we were about to sleep, we felt suffocation and started looking here and there to discover source of the smell.”

“We ran out of the house as we started feeling irritation in eyes, too. We were shocked to see chaos on the road and people were running helter skelter. We came on the main road. A strong smell had engulfed the area and people were falling down on the road,” Shamsher said. “Following breathlessness, we fell and had literally crawled on the road to reach the hospital,” he added.

Shamsher said, seven of his family members, including his brother Ravinder Singh, 35, mother Amarjit Kaur, 55, sister-in-law Harpreet Kaur, 30, nephew Arshdeep Singh, 12, nieces Bhawanjot, 7, Khushdeep Kaur, 2, and Kamajit Kaur, 12, were admitted to Rajwant Hospital for whom he had to pay `15,000 from his own pocket.

Shamsher further added he was not aware of the treatment expenses in other hospitals, but he paid `15,000 for medicines and tests. He said he came to know about the free treatment provided by the administration to the gas leak victims. “But, no one from the administration turned up at Rajwant Hospital,” he added.

Rajwant Hospital owner Dr Rajwant Singh said though no one from the district administration had contacted him about the free treatment to the gas leak victims, but he has not charged anything from the patients. He further added that as the hospital had no pharmacy and medical laboratory, the patients had been bearing the expenses of medicines and laboratory tests on their own.

His aunt Harminder Kaur, her son Gurdit Singh and daughter Amarpreet Kaur were admitted to SPS Hospital at Ludhiana, while his cousin sisters Ranjit Kaur and Harpal Kaur, who came to visit them from Rasulpur village of Rupnagar, have been admitted to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital at Ludhiana. One of his aunts, Kulwant Kaur and another niece Preeti have been admitted to Bhangu Hospital at Doraha.

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