| The loudspeaker outside the Sutahata block hospital on Friday. Picture by Jahangir Badsa
Tamluk, Aug. 4: A loudspeaker blared outside a block hospital for three hours this morning despite repeated complaints by workers of the health facility to the organisers.
The BDO’s office was organising the opening of a building of the animal resource development department at Sutahata, about 40km from Tamluk town. Trinamul Congress MP Subhendu Adhikari was invited to open the hall. Staff of the animal resource development department and the local panchayat were allegedly present when a nurse and two Group D employees went to complain the first time.
Hospital sources said the staff complained to the organisers around 10.30am, following repeated complaints by patients to doctors that the loud music was making them feel “more ill”.
By 10am, the loudspeaker — put up on an electric post — had played several songs for at least an hour and a half. The hall that was being opened is barely 50m from the hospital.
The nurse who went to the event spot said when the hospital trio requested the organisers to remove the loudspeaker, the staff ignored them. One of them allegedly said this was a government programme, so “nothing can be done”.
The hospital staff came back, and after half an hour went again to complain. The loudspeaker, however, kept blaring music and speeches even after that.
When the nurse, who did not want to be named, and the Group D staff went for the third time, around noon, Sutahata BDO Swapan Maity had arrived for the event.
The staff approached him, after which the loudspeaker was taken off from the electric post in a matter of minutes.
BDO Swapan Maity later said: “ I was told that the blaring loudspeaker was disturbing the patients in the hospital. The moment I got the complaint, the loudspeaker near the hospital was removed. We also turned down the volumes of the other loudspeakers in the area.”
Around 9am, when Tapan Maity came to the hospital with viral fever, the music was loud enough to make him “feel ill”, he said.
Tapan, 32, had been down with viral fever and had come for treatment at the OPD. “We requested the hospital authrities to do something because the loud noise was making us feel more ill,” he said.
The block hospital has 10 beds and three doctors.
Block medical officer Arindam Majumdar said: “The loudspeaker has been blaring since morning. There were more than 100 patients in the OPD today. The doctors also complained that they were unable to do their work because of the noise.”
He confirmed that around noon, the loudspeaker was taken off.
The blaring amplifier, though, was not the only problem at the event.
The tussle within the Trinamul between Subhendu Adhikari and Siuli Saha came to the fore again today when the Haldia MLA said she was not invited to the opening of the hall.
Siuli and Subhendu have been at loggerheads since the panchayat elections.
Recently Subhendu’s supporters had said they would boycott any event where Siuli is invited.
Siuli said she had felt “insulted” that she was not invited when panchayat officials were called to the event.
When BDO Swapan Maity was asked why the local Mla was not invited, he said: “I am new here. I was given a list of invitees by the panchayat samiti and I invited all the persons mentioned in it.”
He claimed that when he realised the Siuli had not been invited, he called and invited her but she declined the invite.