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No end to MGM building blues

- Plaster, tiles crash after Rs 5cr renovation

Peeling plaster and crackling dados are malignantly mirroring the patchwork repair that MGM Medical College and Hospital recently underwent with your money.

The government-run heal hub in Sakchi, Jamshedpur, was renovated for Rs 5 crore between May last year and this February, but on Tuesday afternoon a chunk from the freshly plastered roof came crashing in the two-storey building that houses the blood bank.

“I was on my way to collect a report from upstairs when the plaster came off. I halted in my tracks. Look at the building — it looks so nice and done up; just think how shoddy the repair has been,” said Mango resident Sambhu Prasad.

He recalled how the same building had caved in two years ago, drawing media attention on how dangerously the medical college and hospital was being run.

The blood bank alone did not protest poor-quality repair. The administrative building was, in fact, more vocal. Patients, queuing up near the registration office, were taken by unpleasant surprise when tiles fixed for a wall dado came cracking open.

Both floor and wall tiles have also crackled in the medicine, block and emergency blocks over the past few days.

MGM superintendent S.K. Chowdhury expressed his ignorance about the plaster peril. “I was there in my office till 2pm, but nothing as such happened. Maybe, the incident took place after I left,” he said, adding that the situation would be sorted out. On the recent renovation work, he preferred silence.

The state health department had sanctioned a corpus of Rs 5 crore for the hospital building’s repairs in 2013 after cave-ins and collapses became routine for two years. The engineering cell of the department began work in May and finished their job this February.

Cell engineer Krishna Singh claimed that the blood bank building was not included on the renovation roster although the department had spent Rs 11 lakh for reconstructing a room that had caved in.

He further said that the department had sent an estimate for full renovation of the building and would begin work after fresh funds were allocated.

On the tile catastrophe, he said that the department had not yet paid the contractors and would haul them up for lapses.

“Though renovation was completed last month, the finished job will be under scanner for six months. If any part of any building shows signs of negligence, the contractor concerned will have to make amends,” Singh said.

He, however, added that the MGM buildings were more than five decades old and needed more than just repairs. “Most of the buildings are time-beaten. Contractors cannot always be blamed.”