| Ashutosh Kumar. Picture by Mohan Mahato |
A Purnea-based doctor has been drawing salary from both Krityanand Nagar primary health centre (PHC) of the state government and Purnea Junction railway health centre of central government.
The state government recruited Ashutosh Kumar as contract doctor six years ago. He has been working at the railway health centre for the past three years. But the resident of Parora village of Purnea district, about 350 km northeast of Patna, draws salary from both units. In an affidavit at the Purnea civil surgeon office, Kumar affirmed he works nowhere else. The contract is renewed every year.
Purnea civil surgeon S.N. Jha was ignorant about Ashutosh working elsewhere. He said: “We will lodge an FIR against him and take action to recover money if his involvement at some other hospital is verified. He was recruited in 2007 for Jalagarh PHC on contract.” He gets Rs 30,000 a month.
Jha said: “A doctor recruited on contract cannot take monetary benefits from two government health centres. It is a serious offence.”
A source at the railway hospital confirmed Ashutosh has been working at the health unit of Purnea Junction for over three years. “He has to be on OPD duty between 9am and 12noon. He also does running train duty between Dalan station of Katihar and Jogbani station of Araria. He makes Rs 39,400 a month. Since he does train duty, it is difficult to confirm attendance.”
Chief medical superviser of Katihar railway hospital P. Mandal confirmed: “Ashutosh Kumar is posted at Purnea junction’s rail health unit on contract. I am not authorised to divulge information about him.”
Other sources said Ashutosh owns a petrol pump in Krityanand Nagar and hardly finds time for any hub. If required, he visits both, just 10km apart. He allegedly does his job in collusion with district and railway health administration. Ashutosh admitted he worked at both places but said he would quit one post. He disconnected the line before he could be asked which one. A railway hospital pharmacist said he had said he would resign there.