Parsudih residents protest near Jamshedpur block development office on Saturday. Picture by Animesh Sengupta
Jamshedpur, Oct. 13: Residents of Parsudih today sat on a daylong fast near the Jamshedpur block development office in protest against the inordinate delay in opening the sadar hospital at Khasmahal that has been ready for use for months.
Around 100 people from the densely populated residential areas of Parsudih, Golpahari, Kitadih and Bagbera started the fast around 10am and remained till 4pm, protesting under the banner of a newly formed NGO Ma Tujhe Salaam.
They also threatened to sit on a daylong fast near the district collectorate if the hospital is not opened within 20 days. Besides, they warned of taking up an indefinite fast unto death if the hospital is not made functional by November.
The protesters alleged that patients, mostly from economically weaker background, had to travel around 10km for availing of treatment at MGM Medical College and Hospital situated in Sakchi, as the sadar hospital was lying idle despite being ready for use over eight months ago.
The 100-bedded hospital, built at a cost of Rs 3 crore and spread over eight acres, comprises all the critical departments such as pathology, gynaecology, paediatrics, medicine, ophthalmology, ENT, surgery and orthopaedics besides facilities such as ultrasonography, X-ray and ECG.
The sadar hospital, a facility present in all other districts of the state that offers healthcare at nominal charges, was conceived at Khasmahal for East Singhbhum in 2008.
The foundation stone was laid in 2009 and construction finally got over in February this year.
However, lack of paramedics has led to the delay in opening the health hub.
President of the NGO Mohammed Azhar Khan, a resident of Khasmahal, said residents, especially the physically challenged, had to face a lot of difficulties in depending on MGM for treatment.
“We have been getting assurances from the district administration that the hospital is complete and would be soon inaugurated. But nothing has happened so far. In fact, bushes have started growing all around the sadar hospital. While everyone has to travel to Sakchi for meeting medical requirement at MGM, women and the physically challenged are the worst sufferers,” Mohammed Azhar told The Telegraph.
He claimed that the agitators were prepared to sit on a fast-unto-death.
East Singhbhum district civil surgeon Jagat Bhusan Prasad admitted that the residents were facing problems because of the delay in the inauguration, but expressed helplessness over the issue.
“There is shortage of paramedics for the sadar hospital. The state health department has been informed and as soon as the issue of staff crunch is resolved the hospital will be inaugurated. We plan to start the hospital as soon as possible,” he added.