Finally, taking out time to meet the patients who lost vision after surgeries at an eye camp last month, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Friday announced a pension of Rs 2,000 per month for the affected patients.
The chief minister, who was yet to meet the patients despite being in the city for the past three days, reached the hospital at around 8 pm along with revenue minister Bikram Majithia.
The chief minister went to each patient and asked about their well-being. He even enquired about the condition of the patients from the doctors and deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat.
With tears in their eyes, the patients narrated their tales of woe and demanded that the chief minister increase the announced compensation to Rs 5 lakh.
Since the patients were admitted to the hospital on December 3, the Punjab government had announced a compensation of Rs 1 lakh each to the patients. But they are yet to receive the money.
Terming the episode unfortunate, the chief minister said, “Whatever has happened is sad. I have announced that every patient will be given a life pension of Rs 2,000 each every month. I have told the deputy commissioner to make a list in this regard.”
The chief minister, when informed that patients were yet to get the promised Rs 1 lakh compensation, said they would get that soon.
As the chief minister was talking to the patients, a few of them demanded that the compensation must be raised to Rs 5 lakh.
However, Badal refused this saying, “I think monthly pension will be of more help to them. If Rs 5 lakh is given to them, they would spend it soon.”
Till now, around 25 patients have been admitted to the hospital, whereas 39 have reported with severe infection. Most of them have lost vision in one eye while some are hopeful of recovery.