PHSC ‘invisible’ as officials conduct inspection

IMPHAL,4th Oct: Even though an amount of Rs 24.63 lakh was released for its construction some years back, the Primary Health Sub Centre (PSHC) at Taosang in Noney district was nowhere to be found when officials concerned visited to inspect the health centre. According to a reliable source, PHSC Taosang was approved under National Rural Health Mission in 2013-14 and Rs 24.63 lakh sanctioned for construction of building and other requisite infrastructure.

However, officials of State Health Society found no PHSC building at the far flung village when they visited to inspect the same. The source informed that National Rural Health Mission deposited Rs 24.63 lakh to Manipur Tribal Development Corporation (MTDC) in 2013-14 for construction of building of the PHSC.

However, construction of the building stopped after laying foundation only. Deeply concerned over non-construction of the PHSC building, Taosang village authority and local associations submitted a written complaint regarding stoppage of the construction work to the chief minister on July 14, 2017. The same complaint also highlighted that the sanctioned amount was not even used in work site survey or in construction of the building thereby depriving villagers of health care facilities. The complaint also highlighted untold hardship suffered by villagers in availing medical facility at the nearest medical centre, which is either Bishnupur PHC or Noney PHC both located around 90 km from the village. It also highlighted lack of transportation and first aid facilities at the village.

Already living bereft of basic facilities like electricity, transport and water supply, suffering of the Taosang villagers has increased as fund released for welfare of the people went into the pockets of few individuals, the complaint said and appealed to government to take action against those misusing public fund. It also urged the government to fix responsibility to those who embezzled public fund in case of death of any individual from lack of medical facility.

Based on the complaint, a team of State Health Society visited the village on January 23, 2018 and found no building of the PHSC. Accordingly, the matter was apprised to MTDC managing director and also asked the construction agency to refund the released amount (Rs 22.167 lakh) but the amount is yet to be recovered till date. During further investigation as MTDC failed to refund the amount, it was found out that the contractor concerned had submitted a false report to the construction agency that the work had been completed and withdrew the work bill, the source said, adding that state health department had told MTDC to collect the withdrawn amount from the said contractor and even warned of filing FIR against the work agency and the contractor concerned.

When contacted in this regard, Tousang village chief G Soihem Haomei informed that Rs 22.168 lakh out of the sanctioned amount of Rs 24.63 lakh had been withdrawn by the contractor in collusion with MTDC without executing the work. He also warned that Tousang villagers would launch intense forms of agitation from October 15 if the construction work of the PHSC building does not begin by then.

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