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Animals graze in CM hospital

A pig grazes on the JD Hospital campus.
Picture by Main Uddin Chisti

Cooch Behar, July 16: The TB hospital where Mamata Banerjee wants to make Cooch Behar’s first medical college is right now a place where pigs and cows roam free and a part of the land is used by encroachers to grow crops.

Today, the district president of the Trinamul Congress and MLA from Natabari, Rabindranath Ghosh, visited J.D. Hospital, and found this out. He has said he will write to the chief minister and complain about the state of the hospital.

Ghosh spoke to the hospital superintendent and the patients there. The hospital at Mahisbathan is spread over 29 acres.

Khokaram Barman, a resident of Borobhita village in Dinhata who was admitted to the hospital, said: “Dogs constantly enter the wards and pigs roam freely. I have been here for the past five months. We are poor and depend on the free treatment here but we are not given adequate food.”

Ghosh said: “I have spoken to the patients who have many grievances such as inadequate food and I have asked the superintendent to take immediate steps. I was appalled to see pigs roaming on the campus. There are cows, goats and dogs on the hospital premises. This has to stop,” Ghosh said.

The superintendent of the hospital, Arun Kumar Bala, said there were 70 patients admitted to the hospital.

“There are five wards for tuberculosis patients with 100 beds and we have a separate building with 20 beds for infectious diseases. The patients live in constant fear of infection from animals. Today, an MLA visited us and I have explained the conditions that we have here. I have also told him that doctors are irregular,” Bala said.

He said he was helpless as far as the encroachment and the grazing of animals was concerned. “There is no boundary wall and of the 29 acres, five acres have been encroached upon by people who have used the plot to make roads and grow crops. We have written to higher authorities about this. The pigs, goats and cows belong to some sweepers who live nearby,” the superintendent added.

The MLA also hauled up a doctor, S.K. Sarkar, for running a private clinic in the hospital.

“This campus has been chosen by our chief minister to set up a medical college and I am going to write to her about what I saw and experienced here today. One of the doctors, S.K. Sarkar, has been on duty here for the past 15 years and has been running his private chamber on government premises instead of looking after the patients admitted to the hospital. I will also ask the health authorities to take action against the doctor,” Ghosh said.