Representative Image. Photo Source: ANI
50 ventilators not installed due to logistical constraints of BEL, claims Punjab official
Chandigarh, May 12, 2021 (ANI): Amid concerns that some of the ventilators supplied by the Centre to Punjab for treatment of COVID-19 patients have not been installed, a state government official said on Wednesday that around 50 ventilators were yet to installed due to logistical constraints of Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and hoped that it will be done in two-three days.
Aam Aadmi Party MLA Kultar Singh Sandhwan had shared a picture in a tweet on Tuesday and said that ventilators from PM CARES Fund were lying unused in GGSMC (Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital) Faridkot. He urged the Punjab government to make them work for the needy patients. BJP leaders have also raised questions over "unused" ventilators in Punjab. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had on April 11 written to Punjab Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan that 251 ventilators sent by the Centre had not been installed in the state.
"Punjab has been allocated 809 ventilators, out of the same, only 558 ventilators installed while 251 are still pending to be installed," he had said. On its part, Punjab government wrote to the Centre on May 1 that the responsibility to install ventilators rests with BEL and TBS.
Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh had also said on May 6 that besides shortage of oxygen, tankers vaccines and medicines, the state was facing issues even on the ventilators front, "since there was no BEL engineer to install 108 of the 809 ventilators received from the Government of India".
Tanu Kashyap, Managing Director of Punjab Health Systems Corporation told ANI that around 50 ventilators were lying uninstalled due to unavailability of BEL engineer.
"Some of the ventilators have been installed, while some are still uninstalled. We have already had a meeting with BEL CEO. In fact, another meeting is scheduled for this evening. There are still around 50 of them that are not installed," Kashyap said.
"It is the company's responsibility to install them. After that, spare parts and technical things are what only their engineers are supposed to know. Earlier they had given us one engineer but we requested how would just one engineer manage 22 districts alone and that we want more engineers," she added.
She also said that they (the company) said their engineers were in Maharashtra and got stuck there due to COVID-19 situations and could not come. So, there were a lot of logistical issues.
"One BEL engineer has reached Faridkot this morning and hopefully we got the rest of ventilators installed withing two to three days," she said.
Prof Raj Bahadur, Vice Chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, said they were given 82 ventilators under PM Cares Fund of which 62 were not in working condition since the beginning.
"We were given 82 ventilators under PM Cares Fund. Out of these 82 ventilators, 62 were not in working condition since the beginning as these are not of good quality. Today, we have only 42 ventilators in working condition," he said.
In its letter to Health Ministry on May 1, Punjab government said it had received 809 ventilators from the Centre under PM Cares Fund. "There has been a number of complaints regarding mal-functioning of these ventilators...The representatives from the company have been approached time and again to get the malfunctioning of the ventilators repaired. Even the service engineers and technical personnel who are deputed to take care of after-sale service say they do not have the requisite spares and consumables," the letter said.
The state government had also urged the Centre to instruct the company officials to get these ventilators installed, get malfunctioning ventilators repaired and ensure that they have the requisite spares and consumables for uninterrupted functioning. (ANI)