Residents of upper Gozhi want Dagana District Administration to reopen the entrance of Dagapela hospital

64 households of upper Gozhi in Dagana have been requesting the Dagana District Administration to reopen the entrance to the District hospital in Dagapela. The district administration closed the footpath in 2020 to tighten the hospital’s security amid the pandemic. The issue was discussed during the recent Dagana Dzongkhag Tshogdu.

For years, people of upper Gozhi have been driving and walking through this entrance while visiting the Dagapela hospital. But locals say the district administration closed the road in 2015.

Following the closure, a group of people even appealed to the Dagana district court. In 2020, the district administration also closed the entrance for people.

“After appealing to the Dagana court, the court ordered us to continue using the entrance while visiting the hospital and even the district officials visited the site. Later in the name of COVID-19, the district administration has also closed the entrance,” said Damber Bdr. Chuwan, a resident.

“The district officials told us the entrance will be reopened once the pandemic situation improves and a road will be constructed with a new realignment.  But even to date, both the road and the footpath are left unattended. We even wrote to the Gozhi Gewog Administration but nothing much has been done so far,” said Kharka Bdr. Bista, another resident.

Today, residents have to detour using a new approach road which takes about 30 minutes to reach the hospital or take a footpath that was paved after a heavy vehicle met an accident some two years ago.

“Travelling via the new road and the temporary footpath takes at least ten minutes to reach the hospital in even ambulance. The poor road condition is making the journey longer, especially in summer. There are risks of patients dying on the way as we have heard of incidences elsewhere where patients died on the way just a few seconds before reaching hospitals,” added Damber Bdr. Chuwan.

“People visiting the hospital during odd times for emergency order fast food. But it is difficult for both customers and restaurateurs to cater services without an entrance to pass the food items. Without any option, we have to pass it over the fence,” said Bishnu Maya Gurung, a resident.

The Gozhi Mangmi Sangay Wangmo during the recent Dagana Dzongkhag Tshogdu said the closure of the entrance has caused inconveniences for both residents and the hospital staff. The Mangmi said there wasn’t any public consultation while closing the entrance.

“Some people have started cutting mesh wires of the hospital fencing and the problem is likely to be severe if we don’t come up with a solution. The problem isn’t only with nearby residents but also with hospital staff who reside in the nearby areas in rented houses. This is because travelling through the present footpath and road takes more time which otherwise is a matter of a few minutes. The footpath is even not safe during the night and elderly people can hardly walk even during the day time,” said Sangay Wangmo, Gozhi Mangmi.

Responding to the Mangmi, District Engineer Jamyang Dorji said the district administration has the plan to construct a concrete footpath for the residents. However, the official said, work had to be kept on halt since residents are reluctant to use it.

“But residents said they don’t want to walk along the present footpath. So we couldn’t carry out a new footpath construction works. The distance of the new footpath won’t be very long. For vehicles, we have already constructed a separate road for public spending Nu 1.5 M after we blocked the previous road which connects the residents to the hospital.”

The district health officer in a telephone interview told BBS that the plan to close the entrance was there long before. He said allowing the entrance for vehicles and the general public in the hospital premises created nuisances and disturbances to patients and health officials whereby visitors parked their vehicles along the hospital road and even in the hospital parking.

For now, unless an arrangement comes in favour of upper Gozhi residents, they will have to walk along this footpath while visiting the hospital.

Pema Tshewang, Dagana                                                                                                        

Edited by Phub Gyem

The post Residents of upper Gozhi want Dagana District Administration to reopen the entrance of Dagapela hospital appeared first on BBSCL.

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