Encroachment of govt land causing problems for two major Howrah hospitals
Recently, the administration has identified that a major plot of the vacant space in the hospital premises was being encroached. Interestingly, the encroachment was not to set up any bamboo structured tea-stalls or road side eatery, but concrete houses have come up in the encroached land of one of the two hospitals. A portion of a water-body was filled up to set up ancillary units of an adjacent factory in the other hospital at Bally Assembly constituency area in the district.
TL Devi Jaiswal Hospital and Belur State General Hospital are the two lifelines for around 3 lakh residents of the area. But the existing problem of encroachment has come up as the only problem to bring an overall development of the two hospitals.
The matter has been brought to the notice of the local MLA Vaishali Dalmiya by some local people when she went to inspect the 350 bed TL Devi Jaiswal Hospital when the entire hospital was water logged following heavy rainfall for two continuous days. Water logging is a major problem for the hospital in every monsoon for the past few years as the level of the adjacent GT Road is comparatively higher than the plot of the hospital premises.
A proper inspection has revealed that earlier water used to get stored in the two huge water-bodies situated within the hospital premises. Now the capacity of the ponds to hold water has reduced with illegal filling of one of the two ponds. The task of filling up the pond had started during the Left Front regime. There is a factory at the back just outside the boundary wall of the hospital premises and the water body is situated inside. It was alleged that workers of the factory used to dump garbage in the pond by scaling the boundary wall and had filled a good portion of the pond. Later ancillary units of the factory were set up on the filled up portion of the pond.
Initially, everyone used to think that the water logging was due to poor drainage system. Moreover, the matter didn’t came to light as there were tall grasses and several trees on the 22 bigha plot where the boundary wall was pulled down to encroach on the “government property”.
But the actual reason behind water logging in the hospital came to light during the recent inspection by Dalmiya accompanied with authorities of Howrah Municipal Corporation (HMC). After the matter came to light, members of the Jaiswal family who had donated the plot to set up the hospital decades ago had approached the MLA and extended all support to reclaim the encroached plot.
Measurements of the plot would be conducted soon after the documents are given by the Land Records section.
Dalmiya said: “Legal action will be taken for encroaching government plots and we have taken up the issue strongly following the direction of our Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to ensure better health facilities to common people.”
A meeting was held in 60 bed Belur State General Hospital in which the Block Development Officer was present along with the hospital superintendent and the MLA after the problem of encroachment of plot in this hospital had also cropped up.
The situation is quite grim here as four to five residential houses were built, by encroaching on a portion of the hospital’s land. It had come up before the change of guard in the state in 2011. After coming to the power for the second term, the Trinamool Congress government has decided to take stringent steps against such encroachments. The superintendent of the hospital has been asked to prepare a report in this regard.
Besides taking steps to make the hospitals encroachment free, Howrah Municipal Corporation has decided to raise the level of the land of TL Devi Jaiswal Hospital so that water from adjacent GT Road can flow into the hospital premises. At the same time, ponds will be cleaned properly to increase its water holding capacity and its adjoining areas will be beautified. Steps would also be taken for a facelift to the hospital so that people do not need to run with a patient to Howrah District Hospital situated at a distance of 4 km from Bally.