The Telegraph
Wednesday , January 15 , 2014
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Helipad plan for SSKM trauma hub

The proposed 11-storeyed trauma care centre at SSKM Hospital, work on which is set to resume in February, will have a helipad on the terrace.

“Since helicopter-landing requires space, the building plan of the trauma care centre will be modified,” Pradip Mitra, the director of the Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research (SSKM Hospital), told Metro on Tuesday. The centre is scheduled to be functional by 2016.

A transport department official said once the helipad is ready, “it could be used to ferry critical patients from the districts to the city”.

The modalities of paying subsidies for the high helicopter fare — according to one estimate it could be close to Rs 2 lakh an hour — were yet to be worked out, the official said.

A meeting between public works department officials and the SSKM authorities during the day decided that the width of the building would be extended from 13 to 15 metres to get clearances, including one from the directorate general of civil aviation, for running a helicopter service on the terrace.

The length of the building, however, would remain unaltered at 42 metres.

A double-storeyed building that serves as a hostel for SSKM students will have to be demolished to make room for the extra width. Director Mitra said the building would be pulled down only after the new hostel adjoining the academic building is ready.

“A part of the academic building and the hostel adjoining it, in front of the Woodburn Ward, will be ready by March. The current hostel will then be razed to make space for the trauma centre,” said a senior PWD official who attended Tuesday’s meeting. “Another set of pillars will be built to create additional space for the trauma hub.”

The trauma centre, each floor spread across 9,500sq ft, is coming up near the gate leading to the DL Khan Road-AJC Bose Road crossing behind the Woodburn Ward.

Pillars of the building were constructed one-and-a-half years ago, but work stopped after that apparently because of lack of coordination between the public works and health departments.

The state government had in 2010 decided to set up the trauma care centre at SSKM on its own after the Centre withdrew a proposal to build a Rs 17.66-crore trauma hub at the referral hospital following a survey by its team. The survey team had apparently expressed dissatisfaction over the site where the building was to come up.

It has also been decided that SSKM would have two huge gates — one on Harish Mukherjee Road and another on AJC Bose Road. The gates will be 14 metres in length and have moveable railings. The gate on Harish Mukherjee Road will have sensors fitted to facilitate opening and closing based on movement of vehicles.

“The shelter for patients’ families on the hospital campus will be extended to accommodate more people,” said minister Madan Mitra, the co-chairman of the Rogi Surkasha Committee.