Tuesday, November 29, 2022

In Guj, handpicked patients meet PM; ward is repainted, new beds

Just hours ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Gujarat’s Morbi, where a bridge collapse on October 30, some patients at the government hospital were selected and briefed about speaking with him, and were shifted to new beds with new sheets in a freshly painted ward.
A ward on the ground floor that was empty has been deep-cleaned and new beds with fresh bedsheets set up. This was where a few of the injured, who were earlier on first floor, were kept for the PM’s visit. Some of the bedsheets had markings of a hospital in Jamnagar, which is 160 km from Morbi.
At least 40 painters worked through the night to repaint the entire exterior of the hospital, besides touch-ups inside the wards where PM Modi met the victims. Toilets got new tiles too.
Four new water coolers were set up overnight at the government hospital in Morbi before PM Narendra Modi’s visit, but there was no water in at least one of those. The supply wasn’t connected — a stark example of how hurried the spruce-up was after the Sunday’s bridge collapse and many of the injured were brought here.
After the NDTV report, the hospital administration connected the coolers to water sources.
No supply connection for new water cooler at Civil Hospital, Morbi, Gujarat
“This is all for show. This water cooler wasn’t here before,” said a woman who was with a patient. Another woman said the hospital lacks basic facilities otherwise. “Workers moved in only after the Morbi bridge collapse victims were brought here and it was expected that Narendra Modi would visit.”
Ground reporting revealed that new IV drip stands appeared next to each bed overnight. Two of the eight patients originally brought here had been shifted out to another ward before the PM arrived.
Closed since March for renovation, it was reopened last week and collapsed just four days later.
So far, police have arrested staff of the company that had the renovation contract, Oreva Group. It was a “seriously irresponsible and careless gesture” to open the bridge ahead of schedule, the police said in the FIR.
The company was bound by its contract to keep the bridge shut for 8 to 12 months for maintenance and repairs. Since it reopened, tickets were sold for Rs 12 to 17. Some of the old cables of the bridge in Morbi weren’t changed during the seven-month renovation by the Oreva Group, sources said.
The state government has formed a five-member probe committee.
But a Public Interest Litigation or PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court for a judicial investigation. It will be heard on November 14.

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