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Health hub turns happy grazing ground for cattle

(CFrom top) A biker rides through the space marked for construction of a boundary wall, garbage dumped near the hospital and cattle lie on the premises of the Guru Gobind Singh Hospital in Patna City on Thursday. Pictures by Sachin

Patna City residents are exasperated at the administration not taking any action on Guru Gobind Singh Hospital being turned into a cowshed.

Any day of the year, the hospital is found teeming with cows — loitering on the campus or tied to some pole or the other.

Stench emanating from the cow dung makes things more difficult. While residents blame the hospital administration for not taking any action against people who keep cattle on the health hub premises, the officials plead helplessness, apprehending problems with residents around the hospital.

Binod Kislay, a businessman of Patna City, said: “It’s a shame that a state-run hospital portrays this kind of picture to the people. Can anyone imagine cows loitering on the campus of a private hospital? All the state-run hospitals are in a poor condition because the health hub authorities and the government are not concerned about the state of affairs. The hospital (Guru Gobind Singh) administration too has never taken a progressive approach towards people who keep their cattle on the premises. Had it been assertive, they would not have dared to continue doing so. The hospital campus has been turned into a cowshed.”

According to Patna High Court’s directive last year, the hospital had been attached with All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Patna till the latter’s building came up.

The directive implied that the super-speciality health hub could function from the 450-bed Guru Gobind Singh hospital. AIIMS-Patna, however, did not take the services of the Guru Gobind Singh Hospital because of its poor condition.

Chandan Kumar, another resident of Patna City, said: “Earlier, cows could be seen roaming about the campus and now, they have been tied to poles on the campus. This is ridiculous. Why has the hospital authorities allowed it to happen? They either can’t see it or don’t feel the necessity to take any action against the people who have overtaken the campus.”

Syed Tanweer, another resident, said the stench of cow dung coming off the hospital campus was making the lives of patients and their attendants even more miserable.

Hospital superintendent A.K. Kashyap expressed the administration’s inability to take action in the matter.

He said that would just lead to more problems with the residents.

“We have removed encroachers from the hospital campus many times but they come back every time. Our orders seem to fall on deaf ears. We are helpless,” said Kashyap.

He added: “We don’t want to take any stern action against the encroachers because they are all residents and engaging in a fight with them would only create problems for us. We are already facing problems because of some people who are not allowing us to construct a boundary wall and gates at the hospital. They staged a protest and stopped the construction work around a month ago. We had contacted the sub-divisional officer (SDO) and had asked for security on campus so that the work could be done, but we have not received any yet.”

Repeated attempts to contact S.M. Tyagrajan, SDO, Patna City, proved futile. Deepak Kumar, principal secretary, health, also didn’t receive this correspondent’s call.


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