Potential hazard at GMSH-16: Gas plant in middle of gynaecology ward

Above the gas plant is the nursery where newborn babies are kept.

Written by TANBIR DHALIWAL | Chandigarh | Published: August 27, 2014 4:07:34 am
gas-L The combustible gas plant at the maternity ward of GMSH-16, Chandigarh. (source: Express photo by Tanbir Dhaliwal)

Posing a potential hazard, a gas plant is operating right in the middle of gynaecology ward of the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital in Sector 16.

Called the gas manifold plant, it supplies oxygen and nitrous oxide to the entire hospital. At any given time, it has about 100 cylinders filled with gases.

“The purpose of the plant is to provide oxygen to patients undergoing treatment, in operation theatres, ICU wards, and nitrous oxide gas to those undergoing surgery while being given anaesthesia,” said a staff member.

The plant is situated in a room in the gynaecology ward and shares a common wall with the labour room. Above the gas plant is the nursery where newborn babies are kept.

“The gas plant is highly risky for the patients, the babies and the staff. A fire in the room can cause a blast which will bring down the entire building,” said a Fire Department official, adding that the gas plant should be located outside the main building.

Medical Superintendent Vandana Gupta said they had been trying to have the plant shifted. “We have held several meetings and the last was held on August 13. We are pushing it hard to get the approval for a site where the plant can be shifted. A site was chosen but it did not get the final approval from the Engineering Department,” she said.

She added, “The procedure is indeed very lengthy. Getting an approval for a new site is not an easy task. The reason being the involvement of various stakeholders in the decision-making.”

She said the hospital was planning to purchase liquid oxygen tanks which were much safer.

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