People in Kaliyaganj in North Dinajpur district are a happy lot after the state government decided to upgrade the Kaliyaganj State General Hospital from the earlier 60-bed facility to a 250-bed one.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee issued a directive to upgrade the hospital from Nabanna in Kolkata yesterday.

Though Trinamul Congress leaders in Kaliyaganj thanked the chief minister, the BJP, Congress and the CPI-M called it an “election stunt.”

The then Kaliyaganj Block Hospital was upgraded to a 60- bed State General Hospital 12 years ago. However, with the passage of time, the 60 beds fell short in handling the growing number of patients.

On 3 March 2020 when the Miss Banerjee visited Kaliyaganj and held an administrative meeting there, TMC MLA from Kaliyaganj Tapan Debsingha had urged the CM to add 100 more beds at the hospital, a proposal that she accepted.

“We are happy because Miss Mamata Banerjee, considering the problems faced by residents of Kaliyaganj, upgraded our State General Hospital to a 250-bed facility,” Mr Deb Singha said.

The Observer for the BJP in Kaliyaganj, Ranapratap Ghosh, on the other hand said that the CM had only declared the same and that work on it was yet to be carried out.

“It was only declared by the CM, but the infrastructure in the hospital actually needs to be improved after appointing more doctors, nurses, staff and adding equipment. If all this is not done timely, we will start a movement,” Mr Ghosh said.

According to a member of the North Dinajpur CPI-M committee, Bharatendu Chowdhury, even the 60-bed hospital lacked in infrastructure.

“We will believe this piece of news only when we see the infrastructure actually upgraded,” he said.

The Superintendent of the Kaliyaganj State General Hospital, Dr Tapan Kumar Roy, said new buildings will be constructed with isolation wards in the hospital.

“Separate gynecology, orthopedic and eye units will be opened, and patients will also get a blood bank, CT scan and USG facilities,” he said.