Minister MK Sharma replying to a question during the third day of the ongoing budget session in Sikkim Legislative Assembly on Wednesday Credit: IPR 

Gangtok: The 1,000-bedded STNM multi-speciality hospital in Sochakgang, about 5 km from capital Gangtok in Sikkim, was completed and inaugurated in a hurried manner in March this year with poor engineering works, health minister MK Sharma informed the Sikkim Legislative Assembly on Wednesday.

Answering to a question put up by Soreng MLA Aditya Golay in the house during the third day of the budget session, the minister said, “Out of 972 beds (excluding TB wards), 639 beds are handed over in total to the health department and 537 beds are only operational at present. Previous government has completed it in a rush leading to rampant mismanagement in the hospital.”

Soreng MLA Aditya Golay posing a question to the ministers present in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly during the third day of the budget session on Wednesday

He further complained of incomplete engineering work at the hospital leading to waterlogging and waste accumulation in the basement.

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“During my visit recently, I could clearly sense the carelessness of the previous government which needs to be fulfilled and corrected. Certain department needs to be checked. There is a requirement to start good services as it is not enough at present. The government is serious about put everything into order for the service and convenience of the public,” Sharma added.

He further mentioned that the initial number of beds planned were 575 and the initial cost of the project was Rs 400 crore, as estimated by the buildings and housing department. However, the capacity was increased to 1,000 beds mainly to accommodate additional specialty and super-specialty departments to meet the demands of ever-increasing patients.

At present, there are five super specialty and 19 specialty departments available. The final cost on the project including equipment is Rs 1,281 crore. Till date, expenditure of Rs 1,163.68 crore has already been incurred. There were five bidders who participated for the project after which Civil Engineers Enterprises Pvt Ltd (CEEPL), Kolkata was selected.

Answering another query of MLA Golay on upgrade of Soreng Hospital, the minister replied, “Our government is loyal in providing best health and education services. Our priority is quality health and better education facilities to the public. Staff nurses have been recruited recently and recruitment of doctors and staffs are also under process. We will definitely try to meet up the demands in the near future.”

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