A dozen more hospitals to be opened in the Capital

Of the dozen “more” hospitals that Delhi Health Minister A. K. Walia mentioned will be opened in the Capital, construction had begun only on two by February this year. Many of these projects were announced by the Delhi Government as long as five years ago.

Dr. Walia said at a function in East Delhi on Friday that the process of construction of hospitals in Dwarka, Vikaspuri, Madipur, Jwalapuri, Ambedkar Nagar and Sarita Vihar had been initiated and “formalities for construction are underway for the remaining six hospitals”.

Yet, according to information released by Dr. Walia in the Assembly, many projects are awaiting land-use changes and among them is the 225-bed hospital at Chhattarpur. The information was requested by Rithala MLA Kulwant Rana under ‘starred questions’ in the House.

Records also show that construction of the 200-bed hospital facility in Burari began in mid-February and while OPD services have started at the Deep Chand Bandhu Hospital in Ashok Vihar, the rest of the services including in-patient wards are likely to begin only by mid-year.

The information had prompted several MLAs from the Opposition BJP, among them Krishna Nagar MLA Dr. Harsh Vardan and Palam MLA Dharam Dev Solanki, to question the need for announcing these projects and further laying foundation stones for these hospitals.

“The Chief Minister had laid the foundation stone for the Chhattarpur hospital in 2008,” said BJP MLA from Tughlakabad Ramesh Bidhuri.

“What has the government done for the past five years?” Records show that the land use is yet to be changed by the Delhi Development Authority and the project is “to be cleared from Ridge Management Board and Central Empowered Committee.”

Further, construction of the 700-bed ‘Bharat Ratna Indira Gandhi (Teaching) Hospital’ in Dwarka Sector-9, which received a nod from the Delhi Cabinet back in 2007, is yet to begin. The 200-bed hospitals that were to come up in Sarita Vihar, Ambedkar Nagar and Vikaspuri have also suffered similar fates.

Incidentally, Dr. Walia on Friday participated in a function to lay the foundation stone of a health centre in East Delhi’s Shakarpur which he said will be constructed within 12 months.

The facility, which will be built at a cost of Rs. 8 crore, will provide OPD consultation, free medicines, basic investigations and immunisation facilities.

The function was presided over by East Delhi MP Sandeep Dikshit.

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