Chandigarh: Its been six years since the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare gave its approval to the construction of the 250-bed hospital at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) and the hospital is still far away from completion.
The reason for the construction being at a halt since 2013 are many ,though the foremost is the observation made by the former Director, PGIMER, of 16 important service plans not being included in the building plan. The resultant effect is that the cost of construction has increased from Rs 99.27 crores to Rs 170 crores.
The Institute is looking forward to the scheduled Standing Finance Committee meeting this month for an increased budget clearance. The hospital completion holds significance as it shall share the overcrowding of work and people of the Nehru building. The hospital will house 80 private rooms and four departments-Endocrinology, Hepatology, Radiotherapy and ENT that will be shifted to it. The PGIMER is running short of private rooms presently.
In retrospect, the two major causes for the delay in construction are not having got an environment clearance leading to a two year delay and the passing of the building design by the authorities without proper study of it.
In 2011 the CPWD was assigned the work at the cost of Rs. 52.71 cr with a deadline of 540 days amounting to eighteen months.
“Ideally, CPWD officials should have taken the environment clearance before starting the work, but they did not do so. As a result an objection was raised by the ministry of environment and forest and it took PGIMER nearly 2 years to get the clearance,” said a senior officer from PGI to the HT. The ministry objection brought the construction to a standstill.
“When environment clearance was given, it was with a rider that PGIMER will comply with the emergency conservation building code (ECBC), whereas in the work awarded by CPWD there was no such provision,” he said.
ECBC is a code pertaining to energy consumption in the building. “It means that throughout its life the building will consume 20% less energy,” said an officer. Having overcome all the above hurdles when time was ripe to re start the construction, a few other drawbacks came to surface.
A special committee constituted in 2013 by the former PGI Director, Dr YK Chawla, to monitor the execution of the work. Discovered 16 services, essential for efficient functioning of the hospital, missing from the plan.
“When I took over, the order was already given to CPWD. When checked, I found 16 required things missing from the design of the building. Had it been approved, we would have repented it,” said Chawla
MISSING SERVICES INCLUDED:
- Medical gas pipeline system
- Four additional elevators
- Conduiting etc for HIS system
- HT cable connectivity from 65 Kv sub station
- Mechanical ventilation and pressurisation system
- Hot water supply system
- Modular operation theatre
- Rain water harvesting
- Pneumatic tube system
- Digital PA system
- Audio Visual System in seminar hall
- Nurse call system
- Emergency Lighting / UPSCCTV system
- Control access system for OTs
“We approached the ministry and had held several meetings for the revised budget approval. We have high hopes from the Standing Finance Committee meeting, scheduled in January. Most likely, they will approve the budget,” said Chawla.
“If approved, the building will get ready by 2018. Yes, there is a delay, but once ready, it will have state-of-the-art facilities,” he added.