Srinagar, July 28:Government hospitals here are allegedly lacking pure drinking water facilities.
Visitors said that one who drinks available lot from the taps is feared to catch any water-borne ailment, including deadly hepatitis or gastrointestinal infections.
This Kashmir News Service (KNS) correspondent when visited various government hospitals here in city including SMHS, LD Hospital, Bone and Joint Hospital, JVC hospitals, the patients and their attendants said one thing in common, Absence of pure drinking water. “While over the years, in the wake of rise in water-borne diseases, people avoid consuming water directly from the government supplies meeting the consumer needs through taps, the health authorities seemingly slept over the issue,” said one of the health officials.
He said that that in the backdrop of government advisories, particularly during summers that water be boiled for some 20-minutes before drinking, the general public notion has been that the water supplied by the Public Health Engineering (PHE) department isn’t fit for direct consumption.
And while most doctors agree to it, the government hospitals have been caught sleeping.
Given the inflow of patients and their attendants from across far and wide of Kashmir, not all are expected to be carrying along potable water from home at the hospitals in Srinagar.
While those who can afford to buy bottled drinking water from open markets, don’t mind spending Rs 15 to 20 for a litre, others have no options but to bank on the tap. The fresh water consumption from tap, on the other hand, ships with health risks. “This is a known fact now that tap water is just not safe for consumption unless purified through methods like boiling or specialized filtration,” said a leading Gastroenterologist, requesting not to be named.
Sources said that many visitors here in the hospitals have fallen sick because of the tap water consumption.
Ali Mohmmad (name changed), a young man from Manasbal Ganderbal recapped his woeful tale. The man said before two month, he fell sick within days after attending his ailing sister at SKIMS Hospital. Narrating the incident, Ajaz said, his sister was hospitalized for some ailment. “Due to the huge distance from hospital to SKIMS nobody could bring water and meals from home and so we were left with no options but to bank on the hospital resources. We consumed tap water,” the man recapped. What happened next brought a twist in the story. Though his sister recovered and was discharged from hospital, the duo was subsequently diagnosed of suffering from a liver infection. “Doctors told us that it was because of consuming impure water. We for sure know that it happened at SKIMS because otherwise we drink only purified water,” the family said. Medicos said lack of pure drinking water badly affected healthcare, more so in the past years of summer.
Hundreds of patients from the state seek medical help in other parts of country every year due to poor infrastructure. There are 20,306 government hospitals in the country. Rajasthan leads with 3,145 hospitals and Jammu and Kashmir stands at the number two with 2,812 hospitals. Going by the statistics, J&K has the higher number of health institutions in rural and urban areas than neighbouring Himachal Pradesh (160), Punjab (240), and Haryana (159).
Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state, has only 831 hospitals.
A senior Health Department official said since 2005, when J&K received massive Central funds under the Prime Minister’s Reconstruction Programme, crores of rupees had been spent on the construction of new hospital buildings across the state, but not much was invested in training manpower, rendering buildings idle and useless. “For decades, narrow political aims have led to construction of hospitals in an unplanned manner. How will these be run was never given a thought” sources maintained.
Valley prepares for snow
Srinagar, Jan 18: With the MeT department’s weather advisory predicting moderate to heavy snowfall from January 19 to 23,The Kashmir Monitor spoke with various people at Lal Chowk to find out how Valley is gearing up for the tough week ahead.
“I have stockedup grocery items for a week in my home,” Pedestrian, Basharat Jabeen
Keeping in mind, the work would be slow in next few days, I decided to give off to our employees. For home, I have brought extra groceries and necessary food items for children. Owner, Caliph Restaurant, Mushtaq Ahmad
Apart from grocery items, I brought extra coal and fire wood for heating purposes–Alluchi Bagh resident, Fazal Ahmad
Have covered water pipes and hoses with the wool insulations and plastic to ensure running supply of warm/cold water pedestrian.Besides, I have also purchased extra battery for inverteras there is no guarantee of power supply during snowfall.Aquib from Mazhama
I purchased extra cooking gas cylinder as an alternative, incase of power supply is not restored immediately. Besides, have also purchased some cough syrups and antibiotics. Rasiq Manzoor, Sonwar resident
Brought groceries for a week– Saliq Parvaiz Rangreth resident
Govt keen to tap Ladakh’s immense tourism potential: CS
Leh, Jan 18: Chief Secretary, B.V.R Subramanyam Friday said that Leh district of frontier Ladakh region possesses immense tourism potential and the Governor’s administration is keen to upgrade its tourism-related infrastructure to attract increased tourist footfall to the region.
The CS made these remarks at a meeting with Executive Councillors of LAHDC, Leh headed by Chairman and CEC, JamyangTseringNamgyal here.
Expressing happiness over the increasing trend of tourist inflow to Leh, touching around 3 lakh mark last season with 50,000 foreigners, the Chief Secretary stressed on LAHDC Leh to work out a master plan for guiding tourism sector towards inclusive and sustainable development of the district.
On the occasion, CEC Namgyal thanked Chief Secretary for his intervention in fulfilling long pending demands of Leh district including sanctioning of Cluster University for Ladakh, Khaltse Degree College, filling up of 33 posts of Medical Officers and up-gradation of SNM Hospital from 150 to 300 bed capacity.
A charter of demand and issues were taken up with Chief Secretary by CEC, Deputy Chairman and Executive Councillors, like inclusion of villages along ALC bordering China in Changthang region under reservation policy for recruitment to various posts, grant of 10% SDA in favour of State Government Employees serving in Leh for which the State Government has in principle agreed.
Besides, special consideration for regularization of casual labours of PWD Circle Leh and PDC Leh in view of the peculiar working condition in the District, inclusion of left out villages in BADP schemes, creation of posts in LREDA.
They further sought creation of separate Hydraulic PWD Circle, Leh and three more Hydraulic Special Sub Divisions, creation of 124 posts of Bhoti and Arabic teachers, up-gradation of PHCs of Nyoma and Khaltse to SDH, creation of posts for Nubra Development Authority, PRC signing authority for Khaltsi and Liker Sub Divisions, financial support for organic project of Leh district and release of funds from higher education to EJM College Leh, establishment of Ice Hockey Academy at Leh.
Responding to the demands, the Chief Secretary assured to give due consideration to all the projected demands.
Principal Secretary, Planning & Development RohitKansal, Deputy Chairman Gyal P Wangyal, Executive Councilor for Agriculture, PhuntsogStanzin, Executive Councilor for Health TseringSandup and DC/CEO, LAHDC, Leh AvnyLavasa were also present in the meeting.
Hurriyat (g) protest against prolonged detention of Hurriyat leaders
Srinagar, Jan 18: Hurriyat (g) Conference leaders and activists on Friday held peaceful protests after congregational Friday prayers in Hyderpora about the prolonged detention and the “ill-treatment” meted out to Hurriyat leaders especially deteriorating health condition of Hurriyat leader Peer Saifullah in Tihar jail.
In a statement issued to the media, the spokesman said that Hurriyat Conference leaders and activists including Abdul Ahad Parra, Bilal Sidiqui, Molvi Bashir Ahmad Irfani, Syed Imtiyaz Hyder, Mohammad Yasin Ataie, Syed Mohammad Shafi, Khawaja Firdous, Mohammad Maqbool Magami, Arshid Aziz, Mubashir Iqbal, Showkat Ahmad Khan, Imtiyaz Ahmad Shah, Rameez Raja, Abdul Hameed Elahi and Abdul Rashid Lone organized a peaceful protest at Hyderpora Srinagar against the inhuman attitude meted out towards the political prisoners in and outside state especially in Tihar Jail.
Hurriyat leaders while condemning the pro-long detention of political prisoners said that suppressing even the pro-freedom voice and curbing their peaceful activities is no bravery but shameful, which government itself is responsible for the consequences.
While demanding the immediate release of all political prisoners including leaders lodged in and outside state particularly in Tihar Jail include Shabir Ahmad Shah, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Ayaz Akbar, Peer Saifullah, Raja Mehraj-ud-din Kalwal, Dr. Ghulam Mohammad Bhat, Shahid-ul-Islam, Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Farooq Ahmad Dar, Syed Shahid Yousuf, Syed Shakeel Ahmad, Zahoor Ahmad Watali, Asia Indrabi, Nahida Nasreen, Fehmeeda Sofi. Hurriyat leaders said that by pushing people to wall Delhi will achieve nothing; they should face the political leaders and workers on political turf.
Hurriyat Leaders appealed Amnesty International, Asia Watch, and other international organization for human rights to break the silence and take cognizance of the plight of people in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and urged to fulfil their obligations in accordance with human rights specified for the political prisoners.
Meanwhile, All Parties Hurriyat Conference has strongly condemned the raids on the houses of Muslim League leader Rafiq Ahmad Ganie and political activist Sabzar Ahmad of ArinhalBijbihara and said that Jammu and Kashmir have been turned into a police state, where political leaders and activists are regularly harassed by the men in uniform.