The Government Royapettah Hospital (GRH) is planning to install a reverse osmosis (RO) plant on its premises to cater to the needs of its patients.

The hospital, which has a dedicated building for cancer treatment besides trauma, orthopaedics and cardiac care, has been suffering from a water shortage problem for several years now.

Water tanks have been installed in the hospital and it is served by wells. Metro water tankers supply to them regularly. Nevertheless, authorities have not been able to provide sufficient water for the hospital.

The RO plant is expected to cater to the hospital’s requirement of quality water.

Attendants of patients say drinking water is not available in the hospital. They rely on one pipe installed outside the building. “Water supplied by the pipe is our only source. Even the hospital staff clean the toilets only in the afternoons when there is water. Sometimes, even they have to fetch water from the ground floor pipes,” a visitor to the hospital said.

The attendant of a patient who had undergone surgery around 10 days ago, said even for such patients there was no supply of drinking water. “We buy water from outside and for every litre of water we pay Rs. 3.” Family members who were visiting the patient said they bought water from shops outside the hospital as the lone kiosk on the premises would sell water only if the customer bought some other item as well.

Attendants also use the public convenience outside the hospital, paying Rs. 15 per day for bathing and washing clothes. A man who had come from Trichy to take care of his wife said he had been at the hospital for a month. He was an agricultural labourer and earned Rs. 200 a day. “It is expensive for me as I buy food from outside and have to use the public facility.”

According to Director and Superintendent N. Gunasekaran, the RO plant is one of the many projects the hospital has envisaged for this year.

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R. SujathaJune 28, 2012