UP medical college principal suspended after 40 oxygen cylinders found unserviceable
Saharanpur: The principal of Saharanpur's Shaikh-Ul Hind Maulana Mahmood Hasan Medical College has been suspended by the Uttar Pradesh state administration over dereliction of duty after least 40 cylinders were found to be lying unserviceable at the medical college for several months.
The state health department has initiated disciplinary action against the principal who was holding the charge since May 2020 after receiving repeated complaints of negligence. He will now be replaced by Dr Arvind Trivedi of National Medical College, Meerut.
There are allegations that the 40 oxygen cylinders had faulty nozzles and despite repeated reminders by the oxygen supply in charge and the firm that refills cylinders, no adequate steps were taken by the principal leading to a shortage of cylinders in the medical college which is an L3 Covid facility and has 300 beds allocated for Covid patients. There are more than 3,000 active Covid cases in Saharanpur.
Notably, the government-run medical college has 300 oxygen cylinders out of which 40 were rendered useless pending repairs.
The incident has come to light when the state of Uttar Pradesh is grappling with an acute shortage of oxygen cylinders amidst an exponential rise in covid cases in the state. Uttar Pradesh is rapidly emerging as the covid hotspot of the country after Maharashtra with over 33,000 cases reported in the last 24 hrs.
"There were allegations that despite strict directions from the government over smooth supply of oxygen to the hospital, it was found that valve of 40 cylinders out of 300 was not working, rendering them useless," the senior official said. "During the inquiry, oxygen supply in-charge Nawab Singh and gas supplier the company informed the district administration that they have been regularly reminding Dinesh Singh to get the valves repaired but he did not act on it," the senior official told The Indian Express.
According to the daily, the officials concerned with the matter alleged that the principal used to switch off his cellphone in the night, delaying decisions in urgent matters.
Furthermore, a probe found that there was not much coordination between the principal and different departments of the college. Also, the official said, RT-PCR test report of around 5,000 cases was pending with the college laboratory despite the administration's strict order of ramping up tests, adds the report.
A UP health department order states that, "The principal has been found to be of lackadaisical attitude not only in the repair of oxygen cylinders but also too much delay in the RT-PCR (Covid test) reports. Investigation revealed that the results of at least 5,000 RT-PCR reports were lying incomplete as on April 20."
When contacted by The Indian express, the principal told the daily, "I have also come to know about the government decision. I am ready to follow it."