18 years on, SDH Qaimoh far from completion

Suhail Bhat

Srinagar, July 26: The construction work on a 50-bed sub-district hospital in Qaimoh area of South Kashmir’s Kulgam district remains incomplete despite the passing of 18 years since the project began.
The Government announced plans to expand the current Primary Health Centre and construct a 50-bed sub-district hospital in Qaimoh in 2003 at a cost of Rs 19.32 crores. In addition to having inadequate space and being in bad condition, the PHC was unable to handle the influx of patients. Construction began in 2008 but was suspended in 2016 due to lack of funds.
The project’s construction was put on hold for three years due to alleged irregularities in funds spending, according to officials with knowledge of the issue.
The Government formed a three-person committee to investigate how money was being spent, but the report was never made public. “I think there were no problems detected by the committee, which explains why the report was never made public,” an official explained.
The hospital building is still unfinished, in part, because the government never provided the necessary funds at the appropriate time, according to official sources.
The start of construction projects has repeatedly been delayed due to funding issues. Additionally, unsavory elements like drug users and gamblers commonly use the site for illegal activities. “The project was delayed as a result of a lack of funding. However, the issue has been rectified. The funds are now available,” an official said.
Locals alleged that because of the poor quality of healthcare services, they were forced to rely on pricey and unregulated local private healthcare. “Low-income people cannot afford private clinics, and the quality of healthcare is inconsistent,” said Rafiq Ahmad, a local.
They said that the Government’s inability to complete the project revealed its disregard for healthcare in rural areas. They insisted that the opening of the hospital would end their healthcare difficulties, but the Government’s refusal to finish the project discouraged them. “The building was supposed to provide residents with better healthcare facilities, but authorities deceived them,” he said.
Dr. Addul Gani, Block Medical Officer Qaimoh, stated that the facility is now under construction but will soon be finished. “The buildings’ major construction is complete, and finishing work is now in progress. The building will be ready in the next five months,” he said.