For almost two months now, the Government Kilpauk Hospital on Poonamallee High Road has been functioning without a telephone connection. The hospital's landline board numbers — 28364951-53, have been disconnected, due to ongoing Chennai Metro Rail construction work.
The hospital, which receives between 6,000 and 7,000 patients every day, is also a teaching medical institution. According to employees at the telephone exchange, the board has not been able to connect a caller to anyone on the campus. “Only the dean's direct number works. If you want to call him, you can reach him on his direct number,” said an employee on Monday.
Employees and hospital staff said that phone lines were disconnected two months ago. According to staff, when there is a problem in a ward or an emergency, ward boys, who have been provided with the number of the policemen in the outpost, alert the police on their cell phones. “We use our two-wheelers to get to the spot in case there is an emergency,” a policeman said.
Doctors said that since everybody had mobile phones, they did not really feel the lack of landline phones. “We have made a list of numbers of all the chiefs of units and get in touch with them on their mobile phones in case of an emergency,” said a senior doctor.
The phone supply lines that were under the ground on the other side of the road, have been disconnected for Metro Rail work.
Hospital dean T. Ramakrishnan said: “We have floated tenders to set right the phone lines. We have also asked BSNL to find an alternative, such as providing us with aerial connectivity, to prevent such disruptions. We hope to get back our connection soon.”