A damaged ceiling at the old girls’ hostel of PMCH in Dhanbad on Thursday. Picture by Gautam Dey
Lack of space to accommodate its students continues to dog Dhanbad’s Patliputra Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) even though two new 100-bed hostels — one for girls and the other for boys — are ready, well almost.
The hostels, which were declared “complete” by the construction agency on September 30 this year — two and a half years behind schedule — are yet to be taken over by the college authorities, compelling the students to jostle for space in existing hostels.
“Messers Vishwesaraiya Construction was supposed to hand over the hostels, built at a cost of Rs 2.07crore each, on September 30. However, to our shock, we found out that the hostels lack necessary infrastructure like boundary walls, electricity and water connection. Hence, we refused to take them,” said principal of PMCH Arun Kumar Choudhury.
A committee, comprising Choudhury, superintendent of the hospital Arun Kumar and teachers of the medical college, even conducted a recce of the newly constructed facilities and found them to be unfit for living. “The boys’ hostel does not have a boundary wall and approach road while ceiling fans are missing in the girls’ establishment. When we approached the contractor, we were told that as they were provided with a low land, a portion of money meant for the boundary wall had to be diverted for levelling work. Hence, the wall had to be sacrificed,” Choudhury said.
The principal added that they agreed to take the boys’ hostel without the boundary wall provided the company constructed the approach road and mentioned the point in the document takeover document. “Construction of the approach road is underway. But we refused to take over the girls’ hostel without fans,” Choudhary said.
Explaining the delay, Jitendra Kumar Singh of Messers Vishwesaraiya Construction said the plan period was of 18 months from July 31, 2008, to January 30, 2010, but they received the sanctioned fund over more than 48 months. The last instalment of Rs 70,73,818 arrived on January 3 this year.
“Around Rs 2.50 lakh for installing ceiling fans at the girls’ hostel and consultancy fee of Rs 6.50 lakh were not mentioned in the estimate and thus, the cost escalated. We will put up the fans as soon as we get the money,” he added.
Executive engineer of building division M.K. Mahli, on the other hand, promised to hand over both the hostels to PMCH administration within a fortnight.
DC Kumar, on his part, said executive engineer of the buildings division had been instructed to complete the project soon.
At present, there are five existing hostels — two for boys, two for girls and one for interns. Of the two girls’ hostels, the condition of one, which houses final-year students, is in a very bad state with peeling plasters and cracked roofs that might cave in any moment.
“As a result, we are compelled to accommodate two to three final-year students in one room as we can’t put their lives at risk,” said warden of the hostel Leena Singh.