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.
In order to bring change in Pak behaviour, India must also change: Chidambaram
New Delhi, Apr 21: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram Sunday said that in order to bring a change in Pakistan’s behaviour, India must also change its behaviour towards the neighbouring country. The former home minister also said that a way must be found to normalise the India-Pakistan relations so as to answer the country’s “biggest external challenge” in terms of security and various other aspects.
“Whatever we do, we have to make Pakistan change its behaviour. That means we must also change our behaviour towards Pakistan. These attitudinal changes will happen over a period of time. But we must make an effort,” he said at a discussion titled — “Beyond Politics: Debating a new Security Manifesto”, organised by think-tank Observer Research Foundation (ORF) here. Retired Lt General DS Hooda, who headed the Army’s Northern Command when India carried out surgical strike in terror camps across the border in 2017, contended that “one surgical strike or air strike cannot change the behaviour of Pakistan.”
Gen (retd) Hooda also presented salient features of his report “India’s National Security Strategy” — a policy created by his team for the Congress party. Chidambaram said, “We build strong armies not to win a war but to avoid the war. If that is kept in mind everything will fall in place.”
“We may have tried everything and failed, but we have to try and try and try until we have a break. There is no reason why one day an Indian prime minister and a Pakistan prime minister cannot walk into each other’s territory and shake hands,” he said, adding there has to be some “radical” thinking, a departure from conventional thinking. Chidambaram suggested that efforts should be made to resolve issue which are easy to sort out and batted for increased mutual visits by the people of the two countries.
He said war is not an option for developing countries like India and Pakistan. “Barring China, countries in the region are not even middle income countries. The narrative of war is misleading. The war is not at all an option,” he said. “We cannot afford to do things beyond the economic capacity.”
He also explained how internal security is also linked to the national security, mentioning the case of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and Naga insurgency. Chidambaram disputed the claim of the BJP that the current government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a strong one, claiming that last year saw the highest number of terrorist incursions, highest number of deaths of security jawans and civilians.
Lt. Gen. (retd) Hooda said there is a need for a longterm security policy to be effective against adversaries. He also underlined the need to solve issues like Jammu and Kashmir with a combination of effective military and political policies.
Advisor Sharma reviews Darbar Move arrangements
Takes stock of PadshahiBagh – Wullar Lake Diversion Channel
SRINAGAR, APRIL 21: Advisor to Governor K.K. Sharma today visited Civil Secretariat, Srinagar, and took stock of the arrangements being made regarding the Darbar move.
Later, he visited Bemina to get the status of ongoing work on PadshahiBagh – Wullar Lake Diversion Channel.
During the visit, the Advisor was accompanied by Chief Engineer Irrigation and Flood Control, Chief Engineer RNB, SE Irrigation and Flood Control and other senior officers of the department.
Taking stock of the work, the Advisor directed the concerned to expedite the work on the channel and remove all the bottlenecks so that the project could be completed at an earliest.
He also visited the site of Automatic Gauge Reader System (Measuring water level) at Ram MunshiBagh.
RO Anantnag reviews final preparedness
ANANTNAG, APR 21: Returning Officer (RO) Anantnag Parliamentary Constituency, Khalid Jahangir today in presence of General Observers, Police Observer convened a meeting of Assistant Returning Officers (ARO), Nodal Officers, Zonal and Sectoral Magistrates to review the final preparedness for the smooth conduct of parliamentary elections conducted in the district on April 23, 2019.
The RO stressed upon the officers that they should put in best their efforts to ensure that elections are conducted in the smooth and fair manner in accordance with Election Commission of India (ECI) directions. He emphasized that proper implementation of the plans be ensured so that no room is left for any laxity or lapses.
Zonal and Sectoral Magistrates were re-sensitized that they shall ensure assured minimum facilities (AMU), arrangements for polling parties, conduct of mock poll, carrying of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) as per standard operating procedure, maintenance of law and order, keep close watch on the situation and also ensure that no intimidation to voters, booth capturing or any other malpractice takes place. The concerned officers were asked to ensure strict adherence to all the aspects of these plans and directed for that timely, safe and secure induction and re-induction of polling parties according to standard operating procedure.
The AROs were directed that dispatch centres must be properly organised. All the officers were directed to work with dedication and zeal and handle the election process in a meticulous, professional and efficient manner to ensure peaceful, free fair and transparent elections.
The meeting was attended by Narash Thakral General Observer for Bijbehara and Pahalgam constituencies, Daljitsingh Manget General Observer for Dooru and Anantnag, Rajvee Sharma General Observer for Kokernag and Shangus, Ajay Kumar Tripati Police Observer, DIG CRPF Mohsin Shaheedi, SSP Anantnag Altaf Ahmad Khan, Additional Deputy Commissioner Anantnag, Deputy District Election Officer, AROs of Anantnag, Nodal Officers, Zonal Magistrates & Sectoral Magistrates.