By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, February 14: Misplaced or missing, it is one and the same that the State Fince Department is yet to receive any post sanction letter for the 200-bed hospital at Sopur from the State Health Department in the past five years. The reason? If what the state Health Department says is taken at its face value - the post sanction letter that was issued sometime back is 'missing'. The department cannot say how and who missed it. Even if that is taken at the face value, what has the department done in the past five years? What prevented them from issuing a post sanction letter afresh and sending it to the Fince Department for sanctioning of posts of doctors and nurses for the hospital? This is yet another mystery.
The saga of iuguration of the first of its kind hospital in Kamrup (Metro) district at Sopur remains a mystery. The officers in the department are passing the buck on one another on the whereabouts of the post sanction letter.
Even after the completion of the hospital, it has been lying idle. The precious instruments of the hospital, according to the local people, are getting damaged due to prolonged non-use. A section of people in the locality has, however, smelt a rat - and says that circles concerned are planning to open the hospital in 2016, ahead of the Assembly polls so as to 'buy' votes with it.
The hospital, foundation stone of which was laid by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi in 2010 in the presence of the then Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, was complete towards the end of last year. In his foundation-laying speech, according to the local people, the Chief Minister was on record telling the gathering that besides benefiting the local people, the hospital, first of its kind in Kamrup(M) district, would be of immense help for people who get injured in accidents on the tiol Highway 37, nickmed as 'killer highway'.
What is baffling is that the Health Department, according to insiders, started to locate the post sanctioned letter only after NRHM had handed over the Rs 20-crore hospital after completion of its construction. Things have come to such a pass that if the post sanction letter is not sent to the Fince Department well before the Budget presentation, the affairs of the hospital will be pushed to the next fiscal. And in any future post sanction letter, specifications that were in the lost post sanction letter that is missing may be changed. Apart from delay, this will be another setback that may have its telling effects on the would-be beneficiaries.
Sources said that now the Fince Department is ready to sanction fincial approval, but for that it has to get the post sanction letter from the Health Department first.