The Delhi High Court Friday directed the Principal Secretary (Home) of the Delhi government to monitor on weekly basis the progress made in the completion work of 1,241 bedded Indira Gandhi Hospital, which will be a COVID-19 dedicated hospital, and take appropriate disciplinary action against those found guilty of any lapse or negligence.
The Delhi High Court Friday directed the Principal Secretary (Home) of the Delhi government to monitor on weekly basis the progress made in the completion work of 1,241 bedded Indira Gandhi Hospital, which will be a COVID-19 dedicated hospital, and take appropriate disciplinary action against those found guilty of any lapse or negligence. The high court noted that the initial date of completion of the hospital project in Dwarka was February 2017 and thereafter, the bed capacity was increased from 700 to 1241 and the revised completion date was in September 2019 and it is yet to be completed.
A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh said it was completely satisfied with the explanation given by the Delhi government on the delay in completion of the projection, however, its endeavour is to see completion at the earliest with all the aspects covered. The court observed that at this stage, the focus is to find COVID beds including with ICU and ventilator to deal with coronavirus patients.
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The high court asked the Delhi government to file another affidavit giving details on the specialised departments which the hospital will have along with the number of ICU beds, ICU beds with ventilators that will be available once the institution becomes fully functional and listed the matter for hearing on June 3. “We direct the Principal Secretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare to personally monitor progress of the project on at least a weekly basis. If there is any breach, the reasons and persons shall be identified and appropriate disciplinary action be taken against those found guilty of any lapse or negligence,” the bench said.
The court had earlier asked the Delhi government to give timeline within which construction of certain facilities would be completed and reasons for delay. Senior advocate Rahul Mehra, representing the Delhi Government, said during the lockdown, the pace has been tardy and the endeavour now has been to come up with a timeline that is quick enough to face the third wave of coronavirus.
He said currently the hospital is till third floor and has to go up to 7th floor and then the beds will be added. He said the OPD block with 65 beds and an additional 200-bed capacity will be ready by June 10 since OPD will not be required in a COVID hospital and 236 beds will be operational after the 4th and 5th floors are added. The counsel said that by August 15, more PSA oxygen plants will be added and 970 beds will be available by August 31.
Advocate Y P Singh, representing petitioner Dwarka Court Bar Association, said the government has not come with clean hands on the issue of delay in constructing the facilities and that the 1241 bedded facility was supposed to be operational by September 2019. The court was earlier informed that only few beds were operational in the Indira Gandhi Hospital.
The court was also told there was no piped oxygen, ICU beds or ventilators available at the hospital. It had expressed displeasure over the Delhi government making an incorrect statement on May 10 that 250 beds in the new dedicated COVID facility in Dwarka — Indira Gandhi Hospital — were already operational. Thereafter, the Delhi government had told the court that 150 beds would be operationalised during the day and another 100 would be ready by May 12.