Bhubaneswar: In yet another example of undue government favour shown towards SUM Hospital, OTV has found out that the building in which the hospital was operating had no environmental clearance. In October 2013, a letter in this regard was sent by the director of the Forest and Environment department to the Khurda collector demanding action against the hospital. However, no action was taken against the hospital and in a blatant violation of the guidelines; the hospital’s license was renewed.
According to details obtained, the Director of Forest and Environment had sought action over lack of environmental clearance for the hospital building constructed by SOA’s Manoj Nayak on five plots of land in Ghatikia. The letter cited that the building constructed across 48,838 square feet area had violated the 2006 EIA notification and the Environment (Protection) Act 1986.
However, no action was taken by the Khurda collector and the SUM Hospital was running without fire safety and occupancy certificate and environment clearance. Moreover, the collector himself, on July 2016, had renewed the licence of SUM Hospital.
Now after the violations have come out in the open, the collector has washed off his hands and the Health department has sought a show-cause from the Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) of Khurda. The whole affair has raised questions on whether the CDMO was the only authority facilitating such illegal activities and was there any role of the DMET and the Collector.
“When investigation will be done, the collector along with the DMET will be held responsible. The DMET is the top authority and if any action is taken then it should be against the DMET,” said Congress MLA Prafulla Majhi.
“The administration is fully responsible for the whole fiasco. The DMET under whose directions the hospitals operate is yet to be questioned on the matter. The government has shown the door to the Collector but no action is yet to be taken against the bureaucrats,” said BJP spokesperson, Golak Mohapatra.
“The inquiry has begun and the CDMO has come under the radar. Over the course of investigation, whosoever is found guilty of dereliction of duty, will be served a show-cause notice and requisite legal action will be taken,” said ruling-BJD spokesperson, Pratap Deb.
On the other hand, the Nation Accreditation Board for Hospital and Health Care Providers (NABH) has not renewed SUM Hospital’s license whose validity ended on June 22.
In another related development, while the State government removed SUM Hospital from the list of empanelled hospitals, the Center is yet to do so as the hospital continues to be on the CGHS list. This has turned the spot light on the role of the Union Health minister JP Nadda who while on his visit to Odisha a few days back had sought action from the State government stating that SUM hospital is an empanelled hospital.
“When the Union Minister came and demanded action from the State government, he should clarify why similar steps have not been taken by the Central government,” said Pratap Deb.