Ambattur’s long wait for UPHC continues

According to Corporation sources, lack of funds was the reason behind the delay in sanctioning the work and excluded wards will be added in the next phase.
Locals say there is no progress in constructing a UPHC in their area, although land for it was identified during the previous AIADMK government | P Ravikumar
Locals say there is no progress in constructing a UPHC in their area, although land for it was identified during the previous AIADMK government | P Ravikumar

CHENNAI: The residents of Ward 82 in Ambattur (zone 7), who have to travel at least four km to access the nearest primary health care centre, say that no headway has been made into constructing an Urban Primary Health Centre (UPHC) in their area, although land for it was identified during the previous AIADMK government. Besides, not allocating a Health and Wellness Centre to their ward has added to their frustration.

“We are one of the largest wards in Chennai in terms of population. But we do not have a UPHC in our area. We have to travel at least 4 km to Oragadam or Padi to access primary health facilities,” said Arunagiri K, a resident. “Even special camps are conducted very scarcely in our ward. Children and elderly people travel to health centres in nearby areas where preference is given only to locals,” said Gayathri S, another resident of the ward.

“This is a long-time issue in my ward. I have personally raised this with the commissioner and mayor. They have assured to look into it,” said ward councillor V Neelakandan. Chennai Corporation, which has 140 UPHCs across its 15 zones, announced the creation of 140 Health and Wellness Centres (HWC). However, locals said that no HWC has been announced for the ward, which has a voter strength of more than 40,000 and a population of more than one lakh.

Dinesh Kumar, another resident, said officials and politicians only speak of action, but action is seldom taken. “The government’s announcement to create HWC in every ward gave us hope. But excluding our ward only amounts to neglect by the corporation. Whenever we petition, politicians and officials promise expedited action. But a change of government or administration brought no change for us.”

According to Corporation sources, lack of funds was the reason behind the delay in sanctioning the work and excluded wards will be added in the next phase. An official with the corporation’s health department told TNIE, “Land to construct HWCs have been identified in all the wards. The initial list for 140 wards is under phase I and works are at different stages now. The remaining wards will be included in phase II.”

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