Govt. General Hospital facing water crisis for last three days, toilets locked
For three days, patients and hospital staff have been struggling with restricted water supply at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, as a pipeline outside its premises is broken.
Although Public Works Department (PWD) and Metrowater authorities maintain that water supply was restored on Monday morning, a visit to the hospital in the evening revealed that patients and staff were still battling water scarcity.
In the Tower Blocks, toilets meant for the use of patient attendants were locked. A patient attendant who was sitting on the first floor said, “I have been here for nine days and water is a severe problem. As the toilets in the corridor are locked, we have to use the ones inside the ward.”
On the ground floor of the Tower Block housing the casualty ward, only the toilet for disabled women was open. Leftover food was strewn all over it, making it virtually unusable.
On another floor, only the toilet used by staff was open but there was no water supply inside. Several hospital personnel were checking taps to see if supply had been restored.
In the neurology block, some patients used the yard behind the ward for defecation. A patient attendant who had come from Kancheepuram, said he used the public toilet outside the hospital. Rajasekar, a patient in the urology ward in the specialty block arrived on Monday for a procedure. “I have been here since morning but as there is no water I have been using the toilet outside the hospital,” he said.
According to hospital staff, a pipeline broke on Saturday and this resulted in the suspension of supply to several localities. Water was brought in lorries and sumps and tanks were filled, ward boys said. According to PWD officials, 80 tankers were requisitioned from Metrowater. PWD staff said they had asked wards to store water for use.
PWD engineer Jayapal Mohan said the problem was caused by a break in a pipeline under the bridge near Central Railway Station.
“We have increased the pressure of water supply from two pounds to nine pounds in Tower Block 2. Yesterday, we staggered supply by releasing water at two-hour intervals. Within 10 minutes of filling the overhead tanks, the water is used up. In Tower blocks 1 and 2 alone, there are 700 taps and 30 per cent of them have been broken,” he said, blaming this on rough handling by patients and their attendants.
Poor supply in the neurology block could be due to low water pressure, he added.