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Delhi Health Minister Kiran Walia
NEW DELHI: Delhi Speaker Yoganand Shastri on Tuesday cautioned Health Minister Kiran Walia not to mislead the House on the issue of delay in construction of a hospital in North-West Delhi, for which the foundation stone had been laid by Dr. Shastri himself a couple of years ago when he was the Delhi Health Minister. Several other MLAs also complained of construction of hospitals being delayed in their constituencies.
It was during Question Hour that Burari MLA Devender Yadav raised the issue. He said the Speaker had laid the foundation stone of a hospital in Siraspur area of his constituency but barring the construction of a boundary wall, for which another tender for its repair has been issued, no construction had taken place on the project.
He said in his meetings with the Health Minister, Prof. Walia had referred to a legal case being in progress when actually there was no stay. As for the issue of water-logging that the Health Department also cited for not being able to take up work, he said it too has been checked by diverting the flow of nearby drains.
Since in her reply Prof. Walia said the legal process was on, Dr. Shastri said “this means that the laying of the foundation stone was wrong. Please give the correct reply. The answer is not right. There should be no contradiction. Last Government had seen all the files and the villagers had also shown the ‘farad' (copies of records).''
The Speaker also directed the Health Minister to accompany the MLA to the site before December 10 to have a look at the plot and to get the work expedited.
The Minister then clarified that there was no stay and only some family has staked claim to the property. She said the case is in court and the documents are available.
The issue of delay also had other Congress members protesting. Somesh Shokeen raised the issue of work not having being started on the proposed 752-bed super speciality hospital in Sector 10, Dwarka despite the foundation stone having been laid in 2007. Then Anil Kumar of the Congress said stories like Siraspur were repeating themselves all over the city. “In my constituency, no work has been undertaken on the proposed Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital,'' he said, adding that the area was falling prey to encroachers.
Mr. Kumar also complained that while all MLAs were chairman of the district hospital management committees, the meetings of these were never convened. Many MLAs then demanded that the Medical Superintendents of hospitals, who are secretaries of these panels, should be directed to call such meetings in consultation with them.
Former Speaker and Ambedkar Nagar MLA Prem Singh also charged that the proposed 200-bed hospital in his constitutency still remains a pipedream for the residents despite its foundation having been laid when Dr. Shastri was the Health Minister. At this Prof. Walia said a new model of public-private partnership would be tried out in Ambedkar Nagar and two other hospitals.
When Veer Singh Dhingan said a similar hospital project has got delayed in Tahirpur, the Minister said the PPP mode being adopted for it is being reviewed. “We want to protect the benefits of free treatment for the poor. So we are looking at the conditions afresh.”
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