PONDA: Five years after works for the new Infectious Diseases Hospital in Ponda began the exact position of completion of the `44-crore project is not clear even as the local MLA, Mr Lavoo Mamledar said the hospital could be commissioned by December, this year.
The GSIDC, which is executing the project, claimed that it would be in a position to complete all construction works within next 20 days and hand over the hospital to the government by July-end.
The foundation stone for this state-of-the-art 230-bedded hospital was laid on January 20, 2007 by the then chief minister, Mr Pratapsingh Rane. The tender was awarded to a Hyderabad-based company IVRCL, with a time schedule of 25 months for completion of the work, including dismantling the old ID Hospital.
Mr Mamledar told The Navhind Times that the work has been expedited in the last three months and he has been personally monitoring it. He said the hospital work had been affected by shortage of funds, which the new government has resolved.
He informed that there has been cost overrun by `5 crore and they are in the process of getting the funds sanctioned. Mr Mamledar said the Health Minister, Mr Laxmikant Parsekar has assured that all other works would be completed within the next three months.
The Ponda MLA stated that the equipment needs to be installed and tested and this would take some time. He expected that the hospital could be commissioned by December, 2012.
Replying to queries on repeated postponement of hospital commissioning and also about a proposal of starting a few wards like the orthopaedic casualty, gynaecology and maternity, he said the GSIDC was not willing for partial handing over of the hospital to the government as work was still left to be completed.
Interestingly former home minister, Mr Ravi Naik was hoping against hope to inaugurate the hospital in December, 2011 before the assembly elections. However, that deadline could never be met. The new ID hospital then became an election issue with Mr Mamledar promising to get the hospital work completed on a priority basis. He had promised that the hospital could tentatively be commissioned by May, this year.
Thereafter Mr Mamledar inspected the hospital and set June deadline for the inauguration, which was again rescheduled for July.
But GSIDC sources emphasised that the hospital would be handed over to the government by July-end as 98 per cent of the work has been completed with furniture work currently in progress.
A highly-placed source requesting anonymity informed that the work on the hospital has been delayed due to shortage of funds and the election code of conduct, which had been in force for the assembly elections. The source informed that the health department had not released funds for a long time which hampered the pace of the work. However, the work has gathered momentum now.
The source informed that the electricity department has still not released the underground electricity connection and if officials are to be believed the lines will be charged within the next 10 -15 days.
Thereafter it will take another one week to test all the equipment if everything goes as per plan.
The source said that cleaning of the campus has already begun and will be completed in the next 20 days.