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5 years gone, Jammu still awaits Maternity Hospital

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People of Jammu Province, particularly of Jammu and its adjoining districts, will have to wait for another year or more to see the lone Maternity Hospital functional, as after passing of over five years even basic infrastructure of the hospital is not ready.
According to sources in the Health Department, this 200 bedded maternity hospital was conceived during coalition Government of National Conference and Congress because the main maternity hospital housed in the SMGS Hospital Complex always remains overcrowded and accordingly the project was taken up with the then Union Government, which agreed to provide funds for the hospital.
Sources said the target was to complete the project by the end of 2014-15 financial year but it missed the first deadline mainly because of slow funding from the Union Government and lack of follow up exercise from the concerned authorities of the J&K Health Department.
“Since 2014-15, several deadlines were fixed for completion of the project but to utter disappointment of the Jammuites, the project missed all deadlines and in the year 2017, the work had to be stopped due to paucity of funds and it was started only in end of the year when the remaining funds were released by the concerned department”, they regretted.
Sources further revealed that by ending March 2018, about Rs 43 crores were spent by the PWD (R&B) department and as per the approved design of the building, the civil work was completed some months back. Not only this electrical, plumbing and other works had been completed and furnishing work started but later a major blunder in design of the building came to fore which was absence of ramp.
“Ramp is a vital part of infrastructure of the hospital as one cannot even think of a hospital without a ramp and in case of some technical fault in lifts, the patients can be taken from one floor to another only through ramp, not stairs”, they said and wondered how the concerned agency who made the design of the building and health authorities who approved the same missed this.
“Though the construction work on the ramp has been started and 80 % work even completed but it has to be accommodated adjoining the hospital building near old building of Government Hospital, Gandhi Nagar, leaving almost no space between two buildings”, sources informed.
They said that height of the negligence of the authorities can be gauged from the fact that sewerage treatment plant which is another important part of hospital infrastructure was also not accommodated in the approved design and now the work on this is also going on. Moreover, the top two floors of the building has not been provided the facility of central AC system while patients at top floors need this facility more whether it is summer or winter.
Sources said that these blunders by the authorities not only delayed the project further but also escalated project cost, as ramp and sewerage treatment plant were not included in the estimate of the PWD (R&B) department. They said though building will be ready in next four-five months to use but the authorities will not be in a position to start the hospital, as proposal for creation of the posts have not been moved till date. “However, the list of equipments to be procured for the hospital has been submitted to the J&K Medical Supplies Corporation Limited (JKMSCL)”, they further added.
When contacted, Commissioner/Secretary, Health and Medical Education, Dr Pawan Kotwal said that the 90% work on the hospital has been completed and only furnishing work is going on which is also on last stage. The work on ramp and waste treatment plant is also on last stage, he added.
On creation of posts for the hospital, Dr Kotwal said they will soon move the proposal. The list of equipments to be used in the hospital has been submitted to JKMSCL for procurement, he further added.

People of Jammu Province, particularly of Jammu and its adjoining districts, will have to wait for another year or more to see the lone Maternity Hospital functional, as after passing of over five years even basic infrastructure of the hospital is not ready.
According to sources in the Health Department, this 200 bedded maternity hospital was conceived during coalition Government of National Conference and Congress because the main maternity hospital housed in the SMGS Hospital Complex always remains overcrowded and accordingly the project was taken up with the then Union Government, which agreed to provide funds for the hospital.
Sources said the target was to complete the project by the end of 2014-15 financial year but it missed the first deadline mainly because of slow funding from the Union Government and lack of follow up exercise from the concerned authorities of the J&K Health Department.
“Since 2014-15, several deadlines were fixed for completion of the project but to utter disappointment of the Jammuites, the project missed all deadlines and in the year 2017, the work had to be stopped due to paucity of funds and it was started only in end of the year when the remaining funds were released by the concerned department”, they regretted.
Sources further revealed that by ending March 2018, about Rs 43 crores were spent by the PWD (R&B) department and as per the approved design of the building, the civil work was completed some months back. Not only this electrical, plumbing and other works had been completed and furnishing work started but later a major blunder in design of the building came to fore which was absence of ramp.
“Ramp is a vital part of infrastructure of the hospital as one cannot even think of a hospital without a ramp and in case of some technical fault in lifts, the patients can be taken from one floor to another only through ramp, not stairs”, they said and wondered how the concerned agency who made the design of the building and health authorities who approved the same missed this.
“Though the construction work on the ramp has been started and 80 % work even completed but it has to be accommodated adjoining the hospital building near old building of Government Hospital, Gandhi Nagar, leaving almost no space between two buildings”, sources informed.
They said that height of the negligence of the authorities can be gauged from the fact that sewerage treatment plant which is another important part of hospital infrastructure was also not accommodated in the approved design and now the work on this is also going on. Moreover, the top two floors of the building has not been provided the facility of central AC system while patients at top floors need this facility more whether it is summer or winter.
Sources said that these blunders by the authorities not only delayed the project further but also escalated project cost, as ramp and sewerage treatment plant were not included in the estimate of the PWD (R&B) department. They said though building will be ready in next four-five months to use but the authorities will not be in a position to start the hospital, as proposal for creation of the posts have not been moved till date. “However, the list of equipments to be procured for the hospital has been submitted to the J&K Medical Supplies Corporation Limited (JKMSCL)”, they further added.
When contacted, Commissioner/Secretary, Health and Medical Education, Dr Pawan Kotwal said that the 90% work on the hospital has been completed and only furnishing work is going on which is also on last stage. The work on ramp and waste treatment plant is also on last stage, he added.
On creation of posts for the hospital, Dr Kotwal said they will soon move the proposal. The list of equipments to be used in the hospital has been submitted to JKMSCL for procurement, he further added.

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Yatra resumes, 7351 perform darshan

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After remaining suspended due to inclement weather and rains from both the tracks yesterday, the holy Amarnath yatra was resumed from both shortest Baltal and traditional Pahalgam tracks early this morning.
On 21st day of the yatra, 7,351 pilgrims paid obeisance at cave shrine situated in deep Himalayas in South Kashmir district of Anantnag at an altitude of 3880 meters today.
Till date, 2,08,933 pilgrims have paid obeisance at cave shrine since the two month long yatra started on June 28, an officer on yatra duty said.
He said the yatra is going on smoothly from both the tracks and after being suspended yesterday, it was resumed from twin tracks today.
He said the weather during the day remained dry but cloudy and yatra plied smoothly. However it rained in the evening.
The officer said over 6000 pilgrims left for holy cave from twin tracks and by chopper today. Out of this 3719 pilgrims left from Baltal base camp to holy cave by foot this morning while 1004 left by air.
Besides, 2100 pilgrims left from Nunwan -Pahalgam base camp towards holy cave this morning. Over 10,000 pilgrims are staying at Baltal for night halt today while 4653 pilgrims left for Srinagar on way to their home States today. Besides over 5000 pilgrims are putting up at Pahalgam and Nunwan for night, he added.
He said the yatris having night halt at transit camps of Chandanwari, Sheshnag and Panjtarni also left for their onwards sojourn early this morning.
While the yatris who left Panjtarni this morning performed their darshan in the holy cave today, those from Chandanwari and Sheshnag will spent one to two nights in the next transit camps.
The officer said that out of over two lakh pilgrims who have performed the darshan during last 21 days at holy cave, majority have reached their home States while others are on way back.
The two -month long yatra will culminate on Shravan Purnima coinciding with Raksha Bandhan festival falling on August 26 when holy mace led by Mahant Deepender Giri Ji Maharaj, its sole custodian, will reach cave shrine from Dashnami Akhara Srinagar.
Meanwhile, the 18th batch of 1,983 pilgrims left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in a fleet of 59 vehicles under tight security cover in the wee hours today for twin base camps of Nunwan-Pahalgam and Baltal in Kashmir valley.
These yatris will leave for onwards journey form their respective base camps early tomorrow morning.
Yatra Nodal Officer, Jammu, Arun Manhas said that 2178 pilgrims were registered at three registration counters here today. He said over 3000 yatris are camping at Jammu in various lodges, community centers and Yatri Niwas and they will leave for their respective base camps in Kashmir valley early tomorrow morning.

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Rani Mukerji’s ‘Hichki’ to release in Russia

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After receiving a standing ovation at the Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF), Rani Mukerji’s ‘Hichki’ is all set to hit the big screens in Russia on the occasion of Teachers Day.
The movie will be dubbed in Russian and will release in the country on September 6.
Talking about the same, producer Maneesh Sharma said, “Hichki has touched the hearts of audiences across age-groups, across countries. The film moved audiences at the Shanghai Film Festival where it was screened recently. Now that the film is releasing in Russia, we expect audiences to feel the same emotions that people across the world are feeling after seeing the movie. The relevancy of the subject and the film’s intention to affect a positive social change is appealing universally and thus breaks the language barriers across the globe.”
Adding to the excitement, director Siddharth P Malhotra said, “It’s really heartening that ‘Hichki’ will now release in Russia. The movie professes the message of the fact of making your worst obstacle within you and convert it into your biggest strength by embracing it and working each day to win over it. I’m really excited to see the reaction of audiences in Russia.”
The film ‘Hichki’ is a subtle reminder of discrimination that exists in the society and has become a part of the day-to-day lives.
It highlights this through the story of Naina, played by Rani, who has a nervous system disorder, Tourette syndrome, that forces an individual to make involuntary repetitive movements or sounds.
She faces discrimination from the society that believes she cannot become a teacher because of her disorder. Progressive, brave and positive, the movie is about the power of will and determination.
Directed by Siddharth and produced by Maneesh Sharma, the movie was released on March 23.

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Javelin thrower Neeraj bags gold at Sotteville Athletics meet

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India’s star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra won a gold medal in Sottevile Athletics meet here on Tuesday.
The 20-year-old covered a distance of 85.17 meters to finish on top of the podium.
Earlier, the Commonwealth Games gold-medalist had given a dazzling performance and finished at the fourth spot in the first edition of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Diamond League 2018 in Doha breaking the national record with a throw of 87.43 meters.
However, he failed to conjure up the magic in the subsequent edition, which was held in the USA and finished at the sixth spot in the tournament.
In the recently-concluded Diamond League”>Rabat Diamond League, Chopra had finished fifth with an effort of 83.32 meters.
The gold at Sottevile Athletics meet will surely give a boost to Chopra for the challenge in 2018 Asian Games as he is the top medal prospect from Indian athletics team.
Meanwhile, Adrian Mardare of Moldova won silver with a throw of 81.48 meters and Edis Matusevicius of Lithuania settled for bronze after an effort of 79.31meters in the tournament.
On a related note, Asian Games are slated to be held from August 18 to September 2 in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia

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