More than 50 people living in a tribal village in Birbhum district have been admitted to the Rampurhat hospital with diarrhoea-like symptoms. Forty-nine of them have been found to be suffering from scrub typhus.
Villagers of Malancha Ashram Para under the Ranga Gram Panchayat in Balurghat this morning protested against the use of sub-standard materials for the construction of a village health centre (Suswastha Kendra) and halted work there. The newly-built guard walls and even concrete slabs have already started crumbling there, villagers said. They have demanded proper work order and schedule at the site to ensure good quality work.
Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) of South Dinajpur, Dr Sukumar Dey, has assured necessary action.
The district health department has decided to build 59 such health centres in village areas in the district and work on the same is going on, with seven of them already completed.
According to sources, the construction work is in progress in 39 centres and the work order for 18 centres is still pending.
“The building has to be rebuilt in accordance with the government schedule. Otherwise, we will not allow the construction to go on. The construction work here started only four days ago. A local Ashram has offered land to the health department for the centre. However, contractors are working allegedly as per their whims and flouting standard rules set by the government,” one of the villagers, Sukhlal Hansda, said.
“The villagers do not know what the actual project cost is. The wall made of cement and brick is already breaking away,” he added.
The CMOH, on the other hand, said he would look into the matter. “I will talk with the engineers of the project about the allegations. I assure that the quality of the work is maintained,” Dr Dey said.