ANDHRA PRADESH

Use of KGH land for road widening opposed

VISAKHAPATNAM, MARCH 24. Several senior doctors, who had studied at the Andhra Medical College and worked in the more than 150-year-old teaching hospital, King George Hospital, strongly opposed the district administration's decision to use a part of the hospital land for road expansion. Pulling down the wall of KGH, which should be considered as a heritage structure, to expand the road was not the solution to ease traffic congestion and the best way was to shift the Collectorate (diagonally opposite to the KGH) where every alternate day there was a dharna or demonstration attracting a large number of people, the doctors said.

However, the KGH was made to pay the penalty and its poor patients had to face more noise and dust pollution while they needed a cleaner and noise-free environment, said the president of the AMC Old Students Association (AMCOSA), Ch. Gnaneswar, its secretary, M.S. Raju, a retired Head of the Department of Medicine, N. Srinivasa Rao, and a senior orthopedician and past president of the AMCOSA, S.V. Adinarayana Rao.

They recalled how a part of the land of KGH and AMC was taken away by the Municipal Corporation in 1985 for widening the road leading to Relliveedhi. ``Four years later the 1,500-square-yard area on the north-east corner of KGH was taken away to construct a bus bay, which was not needed. The doctors, medical students and paramedical staff stiffly resisted the move and reconstructed the compound wall with their own money and offering shramdaan,'' they said. Later, a part of the AMC playground was allotted to construct a power sub-station.

A part of the land near the ladies' hostel was also occupied, while a piece of land near the nurses' hostel was facing the threat of being encroached upon or allotted to some other purpose.

The doctors warned of an agitation if the Government continued with its plan to take away the KGH land for road expansion.

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