Morbi hospital gets a facelift hours before PM Modi’s visit
Hospital authorities said the clean-up was routine work, but its timing, at a time when the hospital was coping with treating the injured from the accident that claimed 135 lives, and the urgency on display, came in for some flak.
Morbi: Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Morbi civil hospital on Tuesday afternoon to check on the injured from the bridge collapse, the government facility got a quick facelift , attracting criticism from the opposition.
Hospital authorities claimed the clean-up was routine work, but its timing, at a time when the hospital was coping with treating the injured from the accident that claimed 135 lives, and the urgency on display, came in for some flak.
On Tuesday morning, the boundary wall and entry gate of the Gujarat Medical Education and Research Hospital, also known as the civil hospital, at Morbni got a fresh coat of paint. Parts of the first and second floor of the three-storied hospital also underwent a thorough cleaning.
Through Monday night, workers buzzed around the hospital, cleaning, painting and changing floor tiles in sections of the 300-bed hospital. A lift operator at the hospital told news portal Lallantop that at least 40 people had been pressed into service. “This is being done because the Prime Minister is coming,” he told the news site.
Videos shot at the hospital showed new water coolers, fresh bedsheets in some wards, and fresh coats of paint everywhere.
“In last three days the hospital has witnessed over 5,000 visitors. The wall near the main entrance got dirty and hence we got those parts painted,” said Pradeep Dudhrejia, superintendent of Morbi civil hospital. He said that six patients injured in the disaster are presently undergoing treatment at the hospital. Of the 135 deaths, 78 are in the age group of 20 years and below, he said.
Outside the hospital, too, there were signs of refurbishment. Patches of roads near the district collector’s office that were potholed were repaired overnight, and HT saw cloth partitions on the side of some roads, hiding slums.
The Congress party strongly criticised the repairs inside the hospital, tweeting images of the refurbishment, and alleging that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party was making an event of a tragedy.
“The Morbi civil hospital is readying itself for the visit of a king. This is the Gujarat Model. On one side there are the cries of death, and on the other is the king’s event. Sensitivity has died,” the opposition party said on his Twitter handle.
The Aam Aadmi Party, too, hit out at the BJP and said: “Morbi civil hospital is being painted overnight so that the poor condition of the building does not get exposed during PM Modi’s photoshoot.”
The Trinamool Congress tweeted, “We thank the BJP Gujarat Govt as they took great pains to clean up the hospital for PM Narendra Modi’s visit. This hasty attempt to facelift the premises for the PM’s photo-ops has given the patients some momentary relief. We truly are living in a morbid tragedy.”
BJP’s national spokesperson Syed Zafar said that cleaning of a place before the Prime Minister’s visit was a routine exercise. “The opposition is crying over it to earn political dividend before Gujarat elections,” he said.