Patients at the state-of-the-art multi super-specialty government hospital at Omandurar Government Estate face health hazards due to questionable standards of sanitation.
Clogged sewer lines and erratic water supply have become the order of the day at the hospital, which receives nearly 400 outpatients daily. For several days now, sewage has been overflowing from damaged pipelines at the rear of the building that faces Anna Salai. Pipelines carrying drinking water to the hospital as well as stormwater drain chambers have been damaged. The landscaping outside the hospital has completely dried up as heavy machinery and construction materials used for Chennai Metro Rail have been dumped on the premises.
Sources in the public works department (PWD), which maintains the hospital, said workers employed for construction of Metro Rail had encroached on the hospital premises and damaged the water and sewer lines. Recently, water supply to the entire hospital was affected for three days, and they had to manage with tanker water, said the sources.
“We had to cut open the aluminium perforated sheets to connect lines in order to dispose off biomedical waste and then replace the sheets. These lines are also on the verge of damage,” said a source in PWD. Despite repeated requests to contractors and Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL), the problems have been recurring over the past three months.
Meanwhile, officials of CMRL said, “Should there be any such incident, we will repair those lines right away.”
Sources said some damage could occur when cranes shift materials for construction of the Anna Salai station. “There is limited space for the cranes to move. So, there could be minor issues which will be sorted out immediately,” said an official. This is not the first time Metro Rail work has affected water and sewer pipelines. In May, Metrowater officials said tunnelling work near Kilpauk on Poonamallee High Road had affected a water pipeline due to soil becoming loose from vibrations caused by the work.