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Updated: October 24, 2013 10:30 IST

Lack of amenities plagues Siddha hospital in Chennai

R. Sujatha
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Open drains at the Arignar Anna Siddha Hospital are among the many complaints of patients. Photo: M. Vedhan
The Hindu
Open drains at the Arignar Anna Siddha Hospital are among the many complaints of patients. Photo: M. Vedhan

A dire shortage of drinking water, a yard full of overgrown shrubs, open drains, the stench of stagnant sewage and occasional visits by snakes are among the problems encountered by patients at the Arignar Anna Government Hospital for Indian system of medicines.

The recent bout of rains has also left patients having to contend with water stagnation and overflowing garbage. The worst affected are the blocks closer to Poonamallee High Road.

There has been no water supply for a week and the water supplied by Metrowater tankers is not potable, said patients.

Hospital staff have advised patients to use water supplied through geysers. But even that water has sediments, making it fit only to flush toilets.

A staff member attributed the poor quality of water to the failure to clean the hospital’s sump for over a year.

Hospital officials said the problems cropped up after the compound wall of the hospital was demolished to make way for the Metro Rail project. “We have made several representations to successive commissioners. We have also taken up the issue with the Metrowater and Public Works Department, but there has been little progress,” said a senior hospital official.

A group of patients recently signed a petition and staged a dharna inside the hospital demanding better facilities.

The hospital authorities pleaded helplessness and said that the superintendent and the resident medical officer were overloaded with work. They said that while the superintendent was in charge of five different departments, the RMO held charge of two departments.

Neither had the authority to issue cheques or pay for cleaning the sump, they said.

Commissioner for Indian systems of medicine Apoorva said that a proposal for a Rs. 80 lakh-project had been submitted for approval and work would begin shortly.

On the issue of providing potable drinking water for the hospital, she said Tampcol, also on the same premises as the hospital, was being roped in to provide an RO plant.

As the reverse flow of sewage and water stagnation had begun after Metro Rail work, the hospital had also sought permission from the police to dig up Poonamallee High Road, officials said.

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