In spite of completion of the new building of the civil hospital at Barnala Kalan village on the Nawanshahr-Chandigarh road a few months ago, residents are yet to avail health services there due to continuing delay in acquiring land for widening of the connecting road.
Sources say that on December 29, 2010, construction work started on the building, and was to be completed within one year, with December 28, 2011 as the deadline. The budget was estimated at `1,4.36 lakh.
On March 28, 2011, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal laid the foundation of the 100-bed facility, along with the then state health minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla.
After the ban on mining deferred inauguration of the new building on several occasions, the inauguration was scheduled for November 2012, and postponed to February 2013, after which the administration failed to set a date.
For the past two years, the administration has been struggling with the issue of land shortage, which it needs for carving out a 60-ft wide road to connect the hospital directly with the
Nawanshahr-Chandigarh road, sources say.
In the past few months, the administration officials showed some speed in settling the land acquisition row and issued notifications to acquire around seven acre for widening of the road, which is currently only 11 ft wide, making passage of vehicles difficult.
However, due to delay in opening of the new building, the state government and administration are facing public criticism for constructing the hospital in the outskirts, 6 km away from the main town.
It is the failure of the state government, which did not consider the width of the road during pre-planning of the project, which is now hanging due to officials' apathy.
Balwinder Singh Barmi, Nawanshahr resident
The building was completed five months ago, yet the government seems to have no plans for opening it before the parliamentary elections, to influence voters with its 'achievements'.
Ratan Lal Jain, resident
We have been waiting for around `35-lakh from Punjab Health Systems Corporation for disbursing to owners of land needed for road widening and connecting to Jalandhar-Chandigarh highway.
Additional deputy commissioner Amarjeet Pal