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Funds shortage hits construction of 50-bed Ayush Hospital in J&K’s Handwara

The construction of a 50-bed Ayush hospital in the Kulangam area of Handwara in Kupwara district has faced a substantial setback, as funding shortages have halted progress for over a year.

This hospital, a pivotal initiative under the Central Government’s drive to promote alternative healthcare in Jammu and Kashmir, was sanctioned by the Ministry of Ayush, Government of India, as part of the National Ayush Mission.

The project aimed to establish one Ayush hospital in each district of Jammi and Kashmir. However, the construction work on this pilot project has been suspended for over a year after the funds for it fell short.

According to officials from the Jammu and Kashmir Housing Board, responsible for overseeing the construction, work commenced in 2019 but encountered delays primarily due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “Despite overcoming initial setbacks, the project faced a funding deficit after progressing steadily for nearly a year,” an official said.

In response to the funding shortfall, the housing board has submitted a revised Detailed Project Report (DPR) to the Director of Ayush Jammu and Kashmir for approval. “While the initial estimated cost was around Rs 8 crores, the revised DPR now stands at approximately Rs 12 crores. Once approved, construction will resume,” said Mohammad Iqbal of the Jammu and Kashmir Housing Board.

Residents expressed their disappointment over the prolonged delay, highlighting the crucial need for the hospital’s completion. “We have been eagerly awaiting the hospital’s opening for the past three years, anticipating improved healthcare not only for our area but for the entire district,” Altaf Ahmad, a resident, said.

He stressed the hospital’s significance for remote areas like Rajwar and Nowgam, which currently lack adequate healthcare facilities. Situated along the Sopore-Kupwara National Highway, the hospital’s strategic location promises accessibility for residents across the district.

“People in this area prefer Ayurvedic medicine due to its efficacy and minimal side effects. We implore the government to swiftly address the obstacles hindering this project, ensuring our community receives the healthcare facilities it urgently requires,” he said. Daily Excelsior

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