The clinic’s foundation in Sawda JJ colony was laid a year ago, but till now only a boundary wall has been built.

 

NEW DELHI :The Delhi government on 19 October announced the opening of 100 new mohalla clinics, thus raising the number of these clinics in Delhi to around 300. However, the Sawda JJ colony, a resettlement colony located around 5 km from the Delhi-Rohtak road, is deprived of such welfare schemes by the Delhi government.

The residents of the Sawda JJ colony alleged that though the foundation stone for a mohalla clinic was laid a year ago, till date, there has been no construction of the clinic beyond building a boundary wall in the proposed site.

Residents also alleged that due to lack of medical facilities in the area, they have to go to the Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital which is around 17 km from their area.

Akleema (35), a resident of Sawda JJ Colony, said: “I have been going to the mohalla clinic in Kanjhawala for my treatment. There, the doctor delays treatment by telling us to come some other day. It has been like this for the past two months. Our whole day gets wasted in travelling to and from the Kanjhawala mohalla clinic.”

While Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has promised to provide free healthcare to Delhiites within a 1 km radius of their homes, residents of Sawda JJ colony, having a population of 30,000, have to travel miles to reach the nearest government healthcare facilities. Manju, another resident, said: “There is no government hospital nearby. Sometimes, ambulances don’t come to our area and that makes the situation worse for us. If the Delhi government makes functional the mohalla clinic in our area, it would be of great help for people residing here.”

In its 2015 manifesto, the Aam Admi Party (AAP) had promised to create 900 new Primary Health Centres (PHC). The Kejriwal government had also promised to create 1,000 mohalla clinics, out of which 189 clinics had been opened earlier and the announcement for 100 new clinics was made last week. Local Congress workers alleged that only 10% of these mohalla clinics are functional and the rest are in the same non-functional state like in Sawda JJ Colony.

Dr Naresh Kumar, a local Congress leader, told The Sunday Guardian: “The Kejriwal government makes big promises, but on the ground nothing is done. Though there are mohalla clinics on official documents, on the ground, you can see only boards without any proper structure like this one in Sawda JJ Colony.” He also alleged that the Kejriwal government has not fulfilled its promise to provide 30,000 new beds to hospitals. “In 2015, there were 10,600 beds in Delhi hospitals and now there are only 10,994 beds. This is merely 1% of what they had promised. Their promise of 900 new primary health centres also never materialised as there is no new PHC in Delhi in the last five years,” he added.

However, local MLA Sukhvir Singh Dalal refuted the claims of the residents and said that the construction work of the mohalla clinic in Sawda JJ Colony started two months back. Asked about the lack of medical facilities in the area, he said, “There are already two dispensaries in the area—one is by the Delhi government and the other one by the MCD, besides the upcoming mohalla clinic.”

 

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