Delhi Cong accuses AAP govt of delaying 3 hospitals (Ld)

Upping the ante against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in the national capital, the Delhi Congress, here on Saturday, accused it of delaying works of three hospitals that could have added 2,609 beds and saved many lives.

Delhi Congress chief Chaudhary Anil Kumar visited the 600-bed Baba Ambedkar Hospital in Dakshin Puri, the 1725-bed Indira Gandhi Hospital in Dwarka and another hospital in Burari that are almost ready but not being used by the Delhi government.

After the visit, Kumar said the Ambedkar Nagar Hospital was almost ready for the inauguration, while 90 per cent works had been complete at the Indira Gandhi Hospital. The Delhi Government could have easily completed the remaining works in the past three months to address the Covid-19 bed shortage.

Kumar said the party had written twice to the city government and also raised the issue during the all-party meetings with Lt Governor Anil Baijal and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

He said the Union Home Minister promised to look into it as this was a major lapse on the part of the Arvind Kejriwal government, whose flagship Mohalla Clinics initiative was of no use during the Covid crisis.

“Who is going to take the responsibility for Covid-19 deaths in the national capital? Had these 2,300-bed hospitals been ready, the Rs 8-10 lakh package in private hospitals been saved,” he said.

He also accused Kejriwal of squandering the public money to engage private players in arranging beds for Covid-19 patients instead of readying the three new hospitals.

Kumar accused Kejriwal of remaining cooped up in his posh official bungalow for almost three months without doing anything to find a solution to the Covid-19 problem. “As the Covid-19 situation has gone out of the hands of the Delhi government, Kejriwal was running around to arrange beds in railway coaches, stadiums, banquet halls, hotels and religious places,” he said.

He said lives of many poor people would have been saved by converting these three hospitals into Covid care centres.

The national capital on Friday reported the highest single-day spike of 3,137 Covid-19 cases, taking the tally to 53,116. Sixty-six deaths took the Covid-19 toll to 2,035.

The city government has been facing flak from the opposition parties for poor handling of the situation. On Thursday, the Union Home Minister held a Covid-19 review meeting with senior officials. Shah took stock of the situation and preparedness to contain the pandemic.

It was also attended by the Delhi Chief Minister. It was the third meeting between Shah and Kejriwal over the Covid-19 situation since Sunday.