PIMS: Health team raids canteen, staff demand salaries

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SummaryA team of the Health department led by District Health Officer (DHO) Dr Ashwinin Sondhi raided the canteen of Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) on Friday and found that the contractor did not have a food licence and was violations several health norms.

A team of the Health department led by District Health Officer (DHO) Dr Ashwinin Sondhi raided the canteen of Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) on Friday and found that the contractor did not have a food licence and was violations several health norms.

Vinegar, noodles and atta were recovered during the raid, which did not mention a date of packaging. The team also found overflowing garbage bins in the kitchen, rotting vegetables and a general poor state of cleanliness.

MBBS students living in PIMS hostel have refused to have food from the canteen and boycotted their classes. They alleged they had brought the problem to the notice of the authorities several times but to no effect.

Later, hospital staff and class four employees had a heated argument and manhandled the canteen contractor-cum-one of the directors of the hospital as well as some security guards. The agitated group also threw garbage inside the hospital Meanwhile, the Safai Karamcharis said that they had not been paid in the past four months, despite the issue being reported all the way upto Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

The dispute was finally resolved by police mediation when PIMS authorities assured the staff they would be paid their salaries.

Resident director of PIMS, Raj Sekhar said they have outsourced housekeeping to a private company and PIMS had already paid Rs 7 lakh to the firm, which is supposed to pay the salaries of the class four employees.

PIMS, which is under the purview of minister Surjit Singh Rakhra, has been reeling under serious financial crisis and had its power disconnected on Thursday due to non-payment of power bills. It has also been facing several strikes from its staff due to non-payment of salaries.

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