THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Situated right at the heart of the city, Rajaji Nagar colony is overpopulated with poor health and sanitary conditions. While the entire state is on high alert with the pandemic outbreak, residents of the colony are vulnerable to serious health issues. They usually depend on the urban health centre which has only minimal staff and insufficient facilities for medical emergencies. Soon, a primary health centre will be up at the colony under the Smart City Thiruvananthapuram Limited (SCTL) as part of their slum development projects. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 1.5 crore and the project is in the tender stage.
“The construction of a primary health centre was proposed as Rajaji Nagar colony comes under the Area Based Development (ABD) area of Smart City. We hope to complete the project in one year,” said Sanoop Gopikrishna, general manager, SCTL. He said: “Since it is a low-lying area and there are chances of flooding, we are planning to construct the primary health centre on a raised platform.”
Eight years ago, an urban primary health care centre (UPHC) was established at Karimadom to tackle health problems that arose due to the unhygienic conditions in the region. The programme which was implemented as part of the Urban Slum Health Upliftment Scheme (USHUS) helps in providing medical services to people. Urban Slum Health Activists (USHA) who have been employed have been actively engaged in epidemic-prevention activities and providing free treatment. “The primary health centre at Rajaji Nagar will come up on the lines of the centre at Karimadom. For this, the current urban health centre will be demolished and reconstructed with the required facilities,” said Sanoop.
The colony houses more than 1,000 families. However, with no option for proper disposal of waste and open sewers, it often turns out to be a breeding ground ofpests. “Unhygienic conditions prevail in the colony and during monsoon, rainwater floods the entire area. The residents here suffer from different types of chronic diseases. They have no access to proper treatment. Although there is an urban health Centre, it lacks a lab facility and the consultation hours are limited to just eight,” said Pinky S, a resident of the colony.
Thampanoor councillor M V Jayalakshmi said the lack of space at the urban health centre limits the options for improving facilities. “A lot of people in the colony depend on the urban health centre during medical emergencies. Earlier, we had decided to set up a hi-tech lab facility at the centre but due to space limitations, we couldn’t implement it,” he said.