Jammu needs Eye Bank

Can an action of a very important nature not be initiated in Jammu and Kashmir State even after several PILs filed in High Court and despite several of its directives not motivating the concerned authorities in this direction? It may be recalled that several PILs were filed in the year 2012 in State High Court seeking establishment of an Eye Bank in the State since the lone Eye Bank in the GMC Jammu was shut down years back due to alleged lack of proper legal framework and some infrastructural backup not up to the mark.
What followed was, a Division Bench of the High Court directing for establishing of two Eye Banks, one each in Jammu and Srinagar. Although a process was started nearly six years back towards setting up of an Eye Bank in Jammu, yet nothing tangible seems to have been done except spending crores of Rupees on raising of its infrastructure. On the other hand, the same process was started in Srinagar as well at the same time. While Srinagar Eye Bank was not only set up without any eructation and hiccups and which is in operation for two years, Jammu Eye Bank, on the other hand continues to be in an elusive state to the people of Jammu Region.
We cannot prevail upon the bent up emotions of the people from Jammu and adjoining areas especially those needing the required treatment in Jammu. To smell a rat in adopting two different approaches by the same Department for two capital cities and then claim that there was nothing of the sort of preference given to one place to the detriment of or at the cost of the other with equal claim, if not parking such treatment at absolute discrimination. As many as 70 cornea transplantation operations have been done in the GMC Srinagar since early last year from the day the Eye Hospital became operational. The patients and their attendants of Jammu division have to travel to other cities spending avoidable money, time and energy and that appears to be no one’s concern.
Equipments needed by the Ophthalmology Department are still not procured, recruitment of staff though done are not utilised, licensing row has still not been resolved, registration of the Bank is still not done, tenders floated are not getting proper response, funds shortage, Jammu and Kashmir Medical Supplies Corporation has not been responding positively to the requirements of this Bank and other host of issues continue to play spoilsport and dampers for coming up of this Bank. The Eye Bank at Jammu facing so many problems has, however, not been able to open the closed eyes of the State Government which is and should be a cause of concern to all. Government worth the name, should never be found in an undone position to resolve any issue or impasse especially the one concerning the Health sector in Jammu which is often facing the volleys of deliberate neglect.
Whatever the reasons or “clarifications” given by the authorities, we feel, are just alibi and the excuses to paint sheer recklessness as unavoidable when seen in comparison with the Eye Bank in Srinagar functioning normally now for two years.