Patients visiting the newly built 30-bedded Government Mother Child Hospital (MCH) near Vardhman Mills on Chandigarh Road, are set to be welcomed by the stench of an illegal garbage dump right in front of the hospital.
On Saturday though locals got some reprieve from the stench as health authorities deputed sweepers to clear the area and erected tents to hide the ugly sight in anticipation of a visit by Punjab chief secretary Sarvesh Kaushal. However, he never visited.
Noticing sweepers working on a war footing and erection of tents along the garbage dump, residents of the area huddled on the spot to complain about the garbage dump.
Amrit Pal Singh, resident of MIG flats nearby, said, "I was amazed to see the pace of work when I came out in my balcony. The workers were trying to hide the garbage by setting up tents in front of the hospital. As I got to know that some VIP was to visit the hospital I rushed to the spot to request the authority concerned to clean up the area to save us from diseases."
Singh said with the advent of rainy season, the area would stink even more and become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects, increasing the risk of various diseases. He claimed that residents had filed several complaints with the municipal corporation (MC), but to no avail.
Division Number 7 police station is also situated in front of the garbage dump.
A cop, requesting anonymity, said, "When this hospital came up here, we thought that perhaps the garbage would be removed. But there has been no progress in this regard. Authorities concerned need to appreciate the risks posed by this garbage dump, especially due to its proximity to a maternal hospital."
When contacted, deputy medical commissioner (DMC) Jasbir Singh said, "We are aware about the garbage dumped in front of the Mother Child Hospital and will write to the MC to clear the area soon."