Emblematic of what can be termed as sheer apathy and red tape, the Jalandhar municipal corporation has not transferred land to the health department for two upcoming community health centres (CHCs) for which the department has allotted construction work to contractors two months ago.
Not even a single brick has been laid at the proposed sites - 120 Feet Road near Basti Guzan and Dada Colony near Sodal.
The third proposed site at Khurla Kingra locality for the CHC was marred by controversy after the contractor dragged his feet due to land dispute, with bottlenecks emerging right from the start of the work. The health department had awarded work to the contractors work at 120 Feet Road and Dada Colony on August 18 and August 28 this year, respectively.
For boosting healthcare services in urban localities, three 30-bed CHCs were proposed under the National Health Mission for which the officials of health department and municipal corporation had jointly identified locations at 120ft Road, Khurla Kingra and Dada Colony in July last year. The sites were selected on the basis of providing special healthcare near slums and areas where migrant population lives.
As per health department officials, these CHCs would function as first referral health institutes for the urban population which will reduce the workload of sub-divisional health centres or district hospitals.
Officials said the city has two CHCs which are either in a shambles or are underutilised. In Basti Guzan locality, the CHC is functioning from one room near the post office and another CHC from Punjab Armed Police (PAP) campus where people from nearby localities avoid avail of services.
He said the CHCs would not only reduce rush at the outpatient departments (OPDs) at the civil hospital. A grant of `5 crore has also been earmarked for each CHC that would come up on 3 kanals of land.
Civil surgeon Dr Kelash Kapoor said the MC has given verbal assurance to transfer the land to the health department on lease basis, but is yet to hand it over officially.
“The construction work would start there as soon as the health department gives land,” he said.
Jalandhar mayor Sunil Jyoti said, “We have completed demarcation of land and even passed a resolution on the agenda. Now, it is upon the health department to start work.”