World Bank team visits Srinagar hospitals

State seeks assistance of Rs 450 crores for disaster preparedness
2nd June, 2016

As part of the Rs 1500 crore World Bank (WB) assistance in form of loan, Jammu and Kashmir government has sought assistance for augmentation of hospital infrastructure, which is unfit to stand a disaster, following massive damage during 2014 floods.

Six members from the 16 member ‘Mission Team’ of WB visited various hospitals in Srinagar and inspected the infrastructure and buildings. The technical experts held consultative and brain storming sessions with bureaucrats, technical experts, hospital administrators and other officials and apprised them of technical aspects of preparing project reports.

Officials said the assistance required for healthcare is to the tune of Rs. 450 crore. “We are yet to work out the financial component but the assistance is being sought for projects which incur Rs. 450 crore expenditure,” a senior bureaucrat said. He said that DPRs and financial components will be ‘fine-tuned’ as per WB guidelines.

Officials in Health and Medical Education Department said that two components have been focused on in the health sector. “We are looking at reconstruction of damaged buildings in Government Medical College Srinagar, Government Dental College Srinagar, SMHS Hospital, Lal Ded Maternity Hospital and Bone and Joint Hospital,” a senior official told Greater Kashmir.

He added that the other component that was being prioritized was the replacement of flood damaged equipment as well as procurement of new equipment for better healthcare facilities.

A GMC official, who was part of the brain storming sessions with WB team said that the officials “acknowledged the critical importance of having disaster resistant hospitals in an area that falls in Seismic Zone V’.”

“If a disaster strikes, the WB team said, hospitals have to be there to cater to the need,” the official said. As per officials, GMC has submitted Concept Plans for retro-fitting and upgradation of hospitals, as well as replacement of buildings that the experts mark as unsafe. “They (WB) will carry out its own assessment and we will take it forward from there,” he said.

Officials said the team which is on a three day visit is scheduled to meet Chief Secretary BR Sharma “to discuss and decide on the way forward.”

Hospitals in Srinagar had suffered massive damage of infrastructure and equipment in floods of 2014. The affected hospitals included SMHS Hospital, LD Hospital, GB Pant Children Hospital, GMC Srinagar and GDC Srinagar. Part of equipment was restored through Prime Minister’s Relief Fund, but most of the buildings and other components are yet to be revived.