|Hawkers on the NBMCH premises. File picture|
TT, Siliguri, June 27: Authorities of North Bengal Medical College and Hospital are planning to evict hawkers from the compound to set up a Rs 150 crore super speciality wing, sources have said.
According to NBMCH officials, the eviction of hawkers will be an important item on the agenda of the Rogi Kalyan Samiti (RKS) meeting of the hospital on July 1 because they are expecting the first installment of the funds within two months and want to start work on the facility immediately.
State tourism minister Gautam Deb who is the RKS chairperson will be present at the meeting.
“We have got to know that the first instalment of the Rs 150 crore approved by the Union health ministry in 2014 for the NBMCH to build a super-specialty wing will be released within two months. We have finalised one acre of land on the hospital campus near the gynaecology department for setting up the new wing,” said a source.
“However, the space is occupied by around 160 hawkers who have to be removed first. As we want to start work on the super-specialty facility soon after receiving the funds, we have decided to begin the process of evicting the hawkers. This will be an important item on the agenda of the RKS meeting on July 1. It will be chaired by tourism minister Gautam Deb,” an NBMCH official said.
The new wing is for performing neuro, paediatric, cardio-thoracic and plastic surgeries.
Hospital sources said as several attempts to evict the hawkers from the hospital premises had failed before, the authorities would seek Deb’s intervention.
The hawkers have makeshift stalls from where they sell ” paan“, betel nuts, fruits, coconut water, tea and other food items.
“We have tried to evict the hawkers several times in the past but they keep coming back and set up stalls on the hospital campus. It is important to remove them permanently for setting up the super-specialty wing. In the past, several teams of the Medical Council of India have objected to the presence of hawkers at the hospital. We have decided to approach the minister,” said the official.