|A peeling ceiling at the OT (top) and damp walls at a toilet on the ground floor of PMCH in Dhanbad on Friday.
Pictures by Gautam Dey
The first few days of the rains have again bared the deplorable condition of the Dhanbad’s lone government-run hospital and brought to light the utter negligence of the administration in maintaining the heal hub that caters to over 50 lakh people in the region.
Patliputra Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) at Saraidhela, Dhanbad, turned into a pool, literally, after the heavy downpour on Wednesday with rainwater submerging the 5000sqft basement.
Sources said the basement was originally meant to house storeroom, record room, blood bank, kitchen etc. But waterlogging — that happens almost every time it rains — had forced the hospital authorities to shift all these to the top floor of the four-storey building, rendering the basement useless. They added waterlogging was a perennial problem on the campus of this four-decade-old hospital and blamed a poor drainage system for it.
The condition of the other floors is no better.
The ground floor, which houses major departments like medicine, skin, radiology, paediatrics and other investigative units like pathology, soaks water, exposing patients to various kinds of infections during this season. The walls are damp and plaster is peeling off.
According to insiders, the toilets and urinals are in a pathetic shape. “Their wooden doors have decayed and are seldom shut properly. Water seeps through the damaged floors and broken glass panes,” said a hospital official.
The gynaecology and obstetrics, blood bank, ENT and ophthalmology departments are on the first floor and their walls cannot withstand rainwater either. “The second floor, comprising surgery and orthopaedics departments, is the worst affected. The leakage and seepage problems are more evident on this floor,” said another hospital staff.
The three-storey college building on the campus is also in a shambles. Recently, the classrooms were remodelled and costly audio-visual systems, projectors and other equipment were installed. With water seeping through the walls and ceilings, the authorities are concerned over how to protect them.
“We have installed latest teaching aid and gadgets at a cost of Rs 1 crore. But, now we are worried that all our efforts and money may just get washed away,” said superintendent of the hospital Kameshwar Biswas.
Biswas claimed the hospital authorities tried to bring the condition to notice of the engineering cell of the health and family welfare department on several occasions and also met deputy commissioner Prashant Kumar in this regard recently. “We clicked photographs, compiled them in a CD and sent it to the engineering cell. However, no one has taken any note of the issue so far,” he said.
Notably, the regional office of the engineering cell is situated in Hazaribagh.
When contacted, subdivisional officer (engineering cell) A.K. Thakur said an estimate for the renovation of the PMCH building was prepared around six months ago in consultation with the hospital authorities. “But work could not be started due to some procedural problems. Now, we are in the process of floating a tender within a week by making a fresh estimate,” he said over telephone from Hazaribagh.