There is no threat to the Government Leprosy Rehabilitation Promotion Unit in Tambaram, government officials have said.
Some days ago, the Madras High Court had ordered that status quo be maintained at the unit. The court was acting on a petition which feared that the unit would be closed as the Tambaram municipality is constructing a mofussil bus terminus right next to it.
The unit, a one-of-a-kind facility in the whole of Tamil Nadu, is a 50-bed hospital started in 1987. Most of the in-patients, numbering 28 today, have been abandoned by their families and reside here. A dedicated team of doctors and staff provide care here.
It was in 2005 that the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine handed over 4.26 acres of land to the Tambaram municipality to construct a bus terminus. The unit comes within this area. However it was only two years ago that work on the terminus begun.
Recently staff at the unit was informed that the municipality was going to shift the unit, following which the Court was moved and following its direction, government officials have made it clear that there will be no damage to the building nor will the patients be shifted elsewhere.
A health department official said that the issue had been sorted out and that there was no need for alarm. The main entrance of the building would be shifted to other side to make way for an access to the terminus, the official added.
An engineer of the Department of Municipal Administration and Water Supply said both elected representatives and municipal officials had allayed the fears of patients.
Keywords: leprosy rehabilitation