The PGIMER administration has written to Punjab Governor and UT Administrator V P Singh Badnore, saying it should be allowed to manage the day-to-day affairs of the Red Cross Sarai on the PGI campus, which is presently under the control of Chandigarh Administration.
At present, PGI has no say about the Sarai as the UT Red Cross is responsible for all its affairs. The Sarai was inaugurated by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on January 30 this year.
Sources told Chandigarh Newsline on Monday that PGI Director Professor Jagat Ram has written to Badnore saying the PGI administration should be allowed to run the Sarai. The staff and security at the Sarai is currently deployed by the Chandigarh Administration. The letter was sent following a meeting between Badnore and senior PGI officials.
A PGI source said the functioning of the Sarai was discussed during the meeting with the Governor recently. “We want the Sarai to be completely utilised for the patients and their family members,” said an official, adding that they were waiting for a decision from the UT administrator and a call would be taken later about the modalities, etc, if PGI was allowed to run the Sarai.
The Sarai, jointly set up by Infosys and UT Red Cross, consists of 300 beds, 36 dormitories and 13 private rooms. Recently, the Chandigarh Administration decided to reduce the refundable security amount for the dormitory rooms. Now, the patients deposit Rs 100 as security instead of Rs 300 earlier.
A Red Cross official on Monday said they were getting a good response from the patients and their family members now. The official said that they have even divided one dormitory (consisting of eight beds) into two dormitories. “Due to the demand for individual rooms, now each dormitory has four beds and one family is always ready to take that one room,” said the official.
The Red Cross was drawing flak as it was not allowing patients into the Sarai. It was only from this month that the patients were being allowed.
Another decision, taken by the UT Red Cross, is that they have started using the Sarai kitchen to cook food for Annapurna Akshaya Patra Yojana. Under this scheme, the Red Cross currently provides food for Rs 10 in the city.