Govt in dark over VSS land
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- Published 6.12.11
|VSS Medical College and Hospital. Telegraph picture|
Cuttack, Dec. 5: The Odisha government today admitted in the high court that it had no clear picture on the extent of encroachment on the 108 acres of land allotted to VSS Medical College and Hospital as demarcation of the land had not been completed so far.
“The district administration has taken up demarcation of the land and the same is expected to be completed within a period of three months,” commissioner-cum-secretary of revenue and disaster management department Raj Kumar Sharma said in an affidavit filed today.
“After demarcation, the total number of encroachment on the said land shall be finally determined. All possible steps shall be undertaken by the district administration to clear the hospital land of encroachment at the earliest,” Sharma said. “Some 55 encroachers, who had constructed unauthorised structures on the VSS campus, have been evicted,” he added.
The affidavit skirted the issue of the lack of a boundary wall at the state-run medical college hospital. Taking note of it, the two-judge bench of Chief Justice V. Gopala Gowda and Justice B.N. Mohapatra today directed for listing of the case after one week. The court expected the government to file a detailed status report by then.
The court was adjudicating on a PIL, along with intervention petitions filed by junior doctors, in connection with unauthorised occupants and the lack of a boundary wall at the VSS.
According to the petitions, the institution has no boundary wall. The medical college and the hospital do not have a common campus. There is no compound wall either of the hospital or of the medical college and areas of both are encroached upon. The hospital, the medical college and its hostels are divided because of encroachment by vendors.
Consequently, there has been “free access” and “unauthorised interference” by outsiders, including persons with criminal records, on the VSS campus, of which “doctors and students have become the victims”.
In pursuance of a high court order, the government filed a status report on security provided for students, doctors and patients at VSS on October 19. But, it was silent on steps taken to address the problems of unauthorised occupants and the lack of a compound wall.
Taking note of it, the high court granted the government 10 days to file a status report on it. Later, the court fixed a fresh seven-day deadline for submission of the report when the government sought more time for it on October 31.