With the agitating staff of Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) showing no interest to call off their strike, which entered Day 23 on Wednesday, students of the institute, earlier sent on vacation till December 31, found the situation as usual on New Year Day also as no doctor turned up to take any class.
Even principal-cum-director Dr Kulbir Kaur preferred to stay away to the dismay of students. Students and their parents met vice-principal Dr Rajiv Arora and shared their concern about the future of their wards with him.
"It is highly unfortunate that the PIMS management and the state government are so careless towards the future of our wards. No classes are being held for the last many days. Due to insufficient infrastructure, the last year batch was denied permission by the Medical Council of India and they are likely to face the same situation this time also," rued mother of a student.
"Our wards are staying here without any hope of studies. We are also worried about their safety they keep on wandering on roads to spend their time. It appears to us that we had made a mistake by admitting our students here," said another parent.
Meanwhile, doctors and the paramedical staff continued their strike on Wednesday also and the campus gave a deserted look. The paramedical staff sat on a dharna at the gate of the institute while doctors spent their time by sitting in the reception area of main OPD of PIMS.
Carrying banners, the agitators also staged a protest march in the morning raising slogans against the PIMS management and the state government demanding early release of their salaries.
"It is very strange that the state government has failed take any action and the premier institute of Doaba is being ruined in the most irresponsible manner," rued a computer operator.
The electricity supply, cut off by the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) on December 23 due to non-payment of dues of over Rs 50lakh, has not been restored so far. There is no patient at this time in this 400-bedded hospital. All the OPDs were seen locked when visited by the HT team on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the students of PIMS had released an open letter to the chief minister of Punjab seeking his immediate intervention in the matter in the interest of the future of students.
BJP MLA and former minister Manoranjan Kalia had also appealed to the state government to find an immediate solution to the problem to save the repute of the institute which was launched as a dream project of the then state government to provide world-class facilities to common people at reasonable rates.
Sources said an emergency meeting of the PIMS governing body has been convened on Saturday evening at Chandigarh by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal as the CM is understood to have taken a serious view of the manner in which the institute is being run.
A meeting was held with promoters at Hyderabad on Monday evening and it is likely that the matter would be resolved very soon, the sources added.
Vice-principal Dr Rajiv Arora, when contacted by HT regarding the start of classes, said, "We had assured the parents that within a day or two, the management would resolve all the issues of the PIMS and classes would start normally from Monday onwards. We would assure that there would be no loss of the studies of students and we would arrange special classes for them to cover the loss and complete the syllabus in time."