KENDRAPARA: Three years after its construction took off, the 500-bed District Headquarters Hospital (DHH) at Samagudia village is yet to get final shape. Launched in 2016, the Rs 100-crore project, executed by Engineering Projects India Limited (EPIL), was expected to be completed in two years to ease the burden of patients seeking treatment at the century-old district hospital. Besides struggling with staff crunch, the old hospital does not have adequate beds and other facilities which force the patients to go to Bhubaneswar and Cuttack for treatment. Due to large number of patients and non-availability of proper medical infrastructure in the 120-year old hospital, doctors are often compelled to refer critical patients to SCBMCH in Cuttack.
With the authorities dragging their feet on the new hospital’s construction, locals have voiced their resentment. “We have made umpteen requests to authorities concerned to speed up the work on the proposed hospital. But they haven’t paid any heed to our pleas,” said Biswanath Behera, a retired engineer and president of Kendrapara Citizens’ Forum.
Meanwhile, the locals complained that EPIL was allegedly employing insufficient workers which has delayed the project. Bharati Patra (55), a construction worker, alleged that around 300 labourers engaged in the project work were not paid even minimum wages. “Even safety equipment like hard hats, safety boots and gloves are not provided to us,” he said.
Amid locals’ resentment, Dr Urmila Mishra, Kendrapara Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) said, “I inspected construction work of the hospital on Thursday. The construction company has assured me that the work will be completed by April 2020.”