HEALTH: Hospital head on private radar – Superintendent to be showcaused, says CMOH – no more ‘choltey hobe’ in a Bengal Health System that is corrupt to the core ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Raiganj, Nov. 1: A showcause notice awaits the superintendent of the Raiganj District Hospital for allegedly indulging in private practice, five days after he had warned 34 doctors of the facility that he would take action against them for late arrival.
Chief medical officer of health (CMOH) of North Dinajpur Parthasarathi Bhattacharya has decided to slap the showcause notice on superintendent Aurobinda Tantri.
Tantri left for Calcutta today on leave, citing health reason. “The notice will be served on him the moment he joins duty. He will have to reply to the notice within seven days,” the CMOH said.
District magistrate Sunil Dandapat has also ordered a separate inquiry into the charges against Tantri. “I recently came to know that Tantri has a roaring practice in Buniadpur, 60km away. During the inquiry I got some proof. Private practice by a hospital superintendent is not only unethical but also highly illegal,” Dandapat said.
According to the district magistrate, the job of a district hospital superintendent is “full time”. “The superintendent cannot leave the hospital without informing his higher authorities. Even on Saturdays and Sundays, he is not permitted to leave the premises without prior permission,” he said.
On October 26, Tantri had served showcause notices on two doctors of the hospital for arriving late for duty and warned 32 other doctors that action would be taken if they failed to be punctual.
Sources said Tantri had his own house near the Buniadpur bus stand. “He has been running his private chamber every Saturday and Sunday for the past seven or eight years. He takes Rs 80 from each patient,” a source said.
Sagar Roy, who had taken his son to Tantri yesterday at his private chamber in Buniadpur, said the doctor was his “family physician” for a long time. According to him, Tantri used to run his private chamber even when he held different posts prior to becoming the superintendent.
Tantri, however, defended himself. “Sometimes, I manage to come to my house in Buniadpur on leave. The local people, who respect me, often come for treatment. They force me to take money,” Tantri said while denying that he charged fees from his patients.
Assistant secretary of the Association of Health Services’ Doctors Dhiman Pal said they were not opposed to the district administration’s drive against private practices by government doctors. “Now the superintendent is accused of such illegal practice. We want an impartial inquiry and exemplary punishment of the accused,” Pal said.
WATER: All-season water supply for Makaibari – 100 houses to benefit – getting by: with a little help from our friends, pitching in where Bengal has totally failed, and just one highlighted ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH
BY RAJEEV RAVIDAS
Makaibari (Kurseong), Nov. 1: A couple from England and Makaibari Tea Estate have joined hands to provide drinking water to over 100 households by harvesting rain water in the garden near Kurseong town.
Paul Tennings and his wife Sheila have raised Rs 10 lakh to execute the project in return for the affection garden workers had shown to their son during his stint as a teacher here three years ago.
The water supply was formally inaugurated on Saturday in the garden by Paul, Sheila and their friend James Howarth, and garden owner Rajah Banerjee.
The Tennings have also constructed a similar rainwater-harvesting project on a smaller scale at a primary school in the garden. While the capacity of the bigger project is 90,000 litres, the smaller rainwater scheme can store about 5,500 litres at a time.
Around hundred families in the garden would be able to use the water that would be generated from the project.
“If every household has five members and each person uses two litres everyday, then the supply can last for up to 65 to 70 days after the monsoon,” said Paul. If there is rain in between, then the tank will be replenished and the supply can be maintained for a longer period of time, he said.
Usually monsoon ends by October in this region.
Water treatment machines for the project, including carbon filters and micron cartridges, have been supplied by Siliguri-based Enviro Associates and Consultants. They specialise in water and wastewater management.
“The carbon filters and micron cartridges remove bacteria and other impurities from the water making it potable. The treated water meets the specifications set by the Bureau of Indian Standards,” said Debabrata Biswas, an official of Enviro Associates and Consultants.
Rain water that falls on the 4,800 square feet roof of the garden factory is collected in 18 surface-mounted plastic tanks that have been placed behind the 151-year-old garden building before being treated at an adjoining unit. “This is the way to go (for tacking the problem of water scarcity in Darjeeling),” said Paul.
The Tennings have raised money for the project from their family and friends back in Cumbria in the north of England. During their visit last year the couple had distributed water tanks among the villagers here. Apart from providing the space to set up the project, Banerjee will also bear the operation and maintenance costs of the project.
“No man can be an island of prosperity in the sea of unhappiness,” said Banerjee, the planter and author, who had pioneered the concept of home-stay tourism in the garden to help workers augment their income. Home-stay tourism has become a big success, as has organic tea that Banerjee had introduced in the garden two decades back.
The water project germinated when the Tennings expressed their desire to do something meaningful for the place where their 28-year-old son Simon had taught three years back.
“Three years ago, our youngest son Simon had taught in a primary school here for eight weeks. We were over 6,000 miles away but it was nice to know that he was looked after well here. When we came here later we saw the plight of the people. We then thought of doing something as a gesture to thank them,” said Paul.