A stretch of NH-33 in Bundu
Ranchi, Aug. 11: The accident-prone NH-33 connecting Ranchi and Jamshedpur will get two healthcare hubs within months, a significant silver lining after the much-hyped eight highway trauma centres failed to come up due to land hurdles that the state could not overcome for years.
So far, the healthcare hubs at Bundu between the two key cities and Rampur (Samlong), around 20km off the capital, look promising. Construction is almost ready. Both the units will start functioning by this year, catering to accident victims and needy patients.
The highway healthcare units are a pressing need, as according to a conservative estimate, more than 70 commuters lost their lives last year to accidents. In September alone, 20 people died when a Bihar-borne bus collided with a trailer in Bundu.
Though the two units admittedly won’t be a patch on what the trauma centres had promised — neurology, cardiology, orthopaedic, paediatrics and plastic surgery units, besides ICU and air ambulance — they will at least be close by, save precious commuting time and offer 24/7 medical care along with operating theatres.
Of the two upcoming facilities, the one in Bundu, within one kilometre of the notoriously risky Taimara valley, is the bigger project, a sub-divisional hospital with an investment of Rs 4.60 crore.
Sunil Kumar Sinha, under secretary of state health department, said it would be a 60-bed facility equipped with an operating theatre and offer all required medical care. “It was to come up a year ago but got delayed due to technical reasons. But civil work is almost complete. Bundu’s existing health centre will work simultaneously with the new hospital, but we have designed the latter keeping in view the accident victims,” he said.
It is something that commuters had long prayed for. Of the entire 130km Ranchi-Jamshedpur stretch, the 3km stretch of the Taimara valley suffers from a perilously faulty road construction with steep 45-degree elevation. Two to three accidents every day are a normal occurrence.
So far, the nearest hospital is RIMS in Ranchi, a drive of almost 60km, which under normal road conditions takes over 90 minutes. Reaching the Bundu hospital from any point of the Taimara valley will hardly take 10-15 minutes.
“By the time critical victims are rushed to Ranchi it is often too late to save them. Bundu has a government health centre, but it stands on the other end of the market and doesn’t even have basics such as an oxygen cylinder,” said Bundu DSP Naushad Alam.
The Samlong facility, a primary health centre, is coming up with a cost of Rs 1.20 crore. Its foundation stone was laid by MP Subodh Kant Sahay in 2009, but it was mired in land controversy that lasted till a year back.
The centre’s construction began early this year. As of now, the centre only needs its boundary wall to come up. The 10-bed facility promises an operating theatre, 24/7 medical staff and an outpatient department.
“We don’t even have a health centre. We rely on sadar hospital in Ranchi, about 30km from Samlong, for minor medical needs. We hope with the new centre that won’t be the case anymore,” said villager Ramesh Gope, cautiously optimistic after years of waiting.