With over 1,500 beds, Sassoon General Hospital is one of the largest state-run medical facilities around. And it’s in dire need of repair. But five months after the state government giving its consent for the release of Rs 8 crore in the winter session for the massive renovation work required, the situation remains unaltered. The Public Works Department has so far not received the proposed fund so it cannot commence theinitial work.
“The main building of the hospital has never been repaired since its inception in 1867. Although the structure has not been declared dangerous, immediate renovation work is required due to the poor condition of wards, toilet blocks and staircases in the building,” said DG Malekar, superintendent engineer of PWD, Pune division.
The estimated cost for the renovation of 12 wards in the building, repairing of all the toilet blocks, staircases, plumbing, waterproofing and overhaul of the dean’s cabin is Rs 17 crore. While visiting the hospital, this reporter noticed the sorry state of the washrooms and stairs, which have led to many people stumbling and falling.
“In the 2013-14 budget, the state government didn’t even accept the proposals of funds from other departments. So, there is no question of sanctioning additional finances for Sassoon. However, the administration should at least give us the amount authorised to start the initial renovation work,” said Malekar.
Medical Superintendent of the hospital Dr D G Kulkarni said that the issue of getting the funds for renovation was discussed in the meeting of the institute management conducted yesterday. “The patients will have fewer reasons to worry after the upgrade of the wards and toilet facility in the hospital. We are making constant efforts to obtain the sanctioned amount,” said Kulkarni.
Nationalist Congress Party MLA from Vadgaon Sheri, Bapu Pathare, who was present in the meeting with Sassoon management, said that as all the capital from the state’s reserves was being diverted to drought-affected districts, it would take a couple of months for Sassoon to get its share.
“The funds would be provided in the month of July, and then work will start immediately,” said Pathare.
Rs 8 crore Amount sanctioned by state government for renovation work at the hospital