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Pradeep Singh

Bargarh: Stone pelting and violence were witnessed during the bandh observed by Bargarh town residents on Monday demanding the administration to turn the old District Headquarters Hospital (DHH) into City Hospital.

The locals staged road blockades at several locations in the town while all the educational institutions and business establishments remained shut due to the protests.

The DHH, which was in the middle of the town, has been recently shifted to almost 10 km away to Tukurla. Since then, the locals have been demanding to transform the old DHH building into a City Hospital.

"We want our hospital back, which was shifted. We also want the same doctors, who were here. No one is listening to us," said a protesting local.

Lingaraj, a social activist said, "We want the government to declare the old DHH as City Hospital as it has enough land and infrastructure. We also demand adequate staff and nurse."

Later, Bargarh MLA Debesh Acharya reached the old DHH and held a meeting with the protestors along with the district administration and health department officials. However, the meeting ended inconclusively.

There is no intention to shut down the old DHH. We discussed with the protestors and the district collector has assured that the hospital will continue to function as usual, said Acharya.

"A decision related to turning the old DHH into City Hospital can't be taken at the district level. The State government will take a decision in this regard," said Bargarh Collector, Jyoti Ranjan Pradhan.

Senior BJP leader and Bargarh MP, Suresh Pujari on Sunday shot off a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik demanding conversion of the old DHH building into City Hospital.

In the letter, Pujari said that the new complex of the DHH was inaugurated at Tukurla without any communication facilities.

“The bus plying from town to the new location from 7 am to 9 am will not serve the purpose as patients coming to the hospital from different locations will have to wait for it and patients requiring urgent treatment in the night will have a terrible time,” Pujari stated in the letter.

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