Slow hospital work on high court radar

Patna High Court on Thursday restored a PIL seeking expeditious completion of Jai Prakash Narayan All India Institute of Medical Sciences after studying the progress report submitted by its monitoring committee.

The court had disposed of the PIL filed by a non-government organisation ' Council for Protection of Public Right and Welfare ' on December 12, 2012, with directions to authorities concerned to implement all the orders passed by it during the hearing of the petition in the past seven-and-a-half years.

The order implies that the court would continue to monitor the construction work of Patna AIIMS. The high court-appointed three-member monitoring committee, in its progress report submitted to the court on Thursday, said the ongoing construction of Patna AIIMS "is not only very slow but the quality of work is poor".

Taking cognisance of the report, a division bench comprising Justice Prakash Chandra Verma and Justice Aditya Kumar Trivedi directed a Union government undertaking to check the quality of construction work of Patna AIIMS.

The committee ' comprising the petitioner's advocate, Brajesh Kumar, state counsel Shashi Bhushan Kumar and Centre's counsel Vinay Kumar Pandey ' visited the hospital site on Wednesday following the court's directive to submit a progress report in the matter.

"The report cited the tardy pace of construction work of the super-specialty hospital and its substandard quality. It said the construction of the hospital would not be complete even in next two years at the present speed of work," petitioner's counsel Kumar said, adding that the work was being carried out in a single shift in spite of the court's directive to the contractor to complete the work in 24x7 mode, which implies three shifts.

"Earlier, around 1,200 workers were working at the site but on Wednesday, the committee found just 400-500 workers working on the project. The quality of work too was poor. Bricks being used wer substandard," said state counsel Shashi Bhushan Kumar. The court directed the authorities concerned to finalise the tender for 20 operating theatres in consultation with the central government undertaking concerned.

The court posted the matter for hearing after a month.

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