Poll rush: Health minister set to inaugurate Kanhangad's incomplete Mother and Child Hospital

Only the civil work of the 150-bed hospital is complete; Work on fire hydrant system, air-conditioning, lift, transformer unit and wiring is pending
The 150-bed Mother and Child Hospital in Kanhangad. (Photo | EPS)
The 150-bed Mother and Child Hospital in Kanhangad. (Photo | EPS)

KASARAGOD: Minister for health KK Shailaja will be inaugurating the 150-bed Mother and Child Hospital -- which is still under construction -- in Kanhangad on February 8, said officials.

The inauguration has been scheduled on Monday when she will be in Kasaragod to conduct 'Swanthana Sparsham', the LDF government's complaint redressal programme for the public, said Kanhangad municipality chairperson Sujatha KV.

Sujatha said the organising committee met on Thursday to decide on the inaugural function.

But officials said only the civil work of the hospital was complete. The electrical work, which also includes setting up the fire hydrant system and air-conditioning, has not yet begun, they said.
Sujatha said the electrical wiring work is going on. "We will try to finish it by February 6," she said.

But health officials are not so optimistic. They said the work on the lift or the transformer unit or essential to supply power to the hospital. Neither has the work on the fire hydrant system.
'PWD slept on the project'

Shylaja laid the foundation stone for the Mother and Child Hospital in Kanhangad on February 3, 2019.
The government sanctioned Rs 9.4 crore for the hospital, and according to an official, the money was handed over to the PWD on the same day the foundation stone was laid.

Of the Rs 9.4 crore, Rs 6 crore was for civil work and Rs 3.4 crore was for electrical work. The construction of the three-storey building -- around 4,000 sq ft -- was completed before schedule and handed over to the PWD in January, said the civil contractor Joy Kariyil Engineering Contractor, Nileshwar.

But officials said the PWD's electrical wing was too slow to begin work.

Admin block not yet ready

Also, the hospital building does not have space to house the administration block. An official said the District Medical Officer has asked the PWD to renovate a two-storey building adjacent to the hospital to accommodate the superintendent and his ministerial staff. "But the PWD is yet to even draw up an estimate for the renovation," said an official.

The 5510-bed Tata Group-built COVID Hospital was inaugurated last September but less than 5% of the complex is used with minimal staff.

Officials said the structure was not suitable for large scale deployment of staff. Similarly, the construction of the medical college building was also not complete though the foundation stone was laid in December 2013.

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