SUNDARGARH: A building complex meant to be a rural health institution with provision for staff quarters is lying unused for years at the nondescript Singarmunda village. Surprisingly, the district health administration has no inkling as to who constructed the building or why it has not been put to any meaningful use. A reality check at the complex in Bargaon block of Sundargarh district, about 80 km from Rourkela, presents a paradoxical view of how rural health care continues to be a challenge even as public fund is frittered away mindlessly. The compound wall has partly collapsed, the main building is falling victim to wear and tear and staff quarters with no occupants are getting dilapidated with electrical fittings and wirings recently pulled out by unknown elements. Spread over 1.5 acres along the paved road of the village, it could be an ideal replacement to the outdated Primary Health Centre (PHC) at Runga. It was constructed with the MPLAD fund of then Congress MP Frida Topno sometime before 1999 at her native village, Singarmunda, at a cost of over ` 40 lakh.
A couple of years back, the health administration had proposed to accord it the status of PHC (New) but nothing came of it.
Ward member Rajesh Ekka said they are devoid of better health care and have to travel to either Ekma or Runga. Sundargarh CDMO SC Patel said the building was not officially handed over to him and it is not in the record, adding that he has no idea of its ownership. A senior health official said it was not a lone case of wastage of public money as two other health institutions are facing similar fate. A private school is being run from one at Jhirpani near Rourkela with the gram panchayat office collecting the rent. Another such institution at Jangla in Bonai block was recently reclaimed by the health administration. Sundargarh Collector Rupa Roshan Sahu said the local BDO would be asked to submit a detailed report.