DCHC yet to be ready, construction agency seeks more time

[ Taba Ajum ]
MIDPU, Jul 29: The construction of the prefabricated dedicated Covid health centre (DCHC) here in Papum Pare district is unlikely to meet the 31 July deadline as major works remain to be completed even with the arrival of all the seven containers.
The 35-bedded hospital, the construction of which started in mid-May, will cater to patients with mild Covid-19 symptoms.
During a recent visit to the hospital site, Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar had given the deadline of 31 July for the hospital to start functioning.
However, much of the work is yet to be completed as officials have sought one more week for completion of work.
All the seven cabins have been installed and the hospital compound has been fully fenced. The power transformer along with DG set and overhead water tank of 16 thousand litre capacity have also been set up.
On the other hand, construction of the donning room where the staff put on the PPE and the doffing room where the PPE is removed is still under construction.
The toilet cum bathroom for male and female doctors and nurses are also under construction. Further, a shredder machine is also being installed along with a medical waste bin to dispose the PPE and other medical wastes.
“The work on the reception room, security cell, lounge, mini OT, nurses’ room, kitchen with dining hall, emergency water tank with capacity of 30, 000 litres are in progress. Separate toilets for drivers and other staffers, besides those for visitors are also being constructed,” said an official of the construction agency.
The relentless rainfall along with delay on the part of the health department to provide required details has hit the progress of work.
“On 22 July, the health department submitted a detailed list of the infrastructure required for a Covid-19 hospital. Also, it has been raining continuously for the last few days. All this has affected the progress of work,” the official added.
The construction agency has sought time till 7 August for completion of the work in its entirety.
“This is a dedicated Covid hospital, and therefore, there cannot be any compromise with the layout (design) or quality. We are working by strictly maintaining the quality, which is why we need at least one more week to complete the work,” the official added.
At present, more than 150 labourers are working at the site.
“We are nearly working non-stop. Our shift starts from 7 AM and continues till 2 AM the next day. Everyone is working hard considering the importance of this hospital,” he added.
Meanwhile, health workers have expressed concern over the attempt to make the hospital functional without being fully prepared.
“If the hospital starts functioning without being readied, it is going to put the life of Covid patients and staff at risk. The health department should not rush it just to meet the deadline,” said a health worker.
Meanwhile, Doimukh SDO S Tayang, who is monitoring the work, informed that weather has affected the work progress.
Talking to this daily, the SDO said, “The incessant rainfall is not helping the cause. The civil work is being badly hampered. Everyone is working hard to complete the work at the earliest.”
The SDO also said there is no law and order issue.
“Initially, locals had objected, but everything has been resolved now,” he added.