Ranchi, July 3: What does a hospital do when a senior police official, a director of a private security agency and two government employees hold on to accommodation meant for doctors? If it is the state-run Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), it takes four years to diagnose the problem before initiating action to evict the “illegal” occupants.
RIMS deputy director and head of microbiology department L.B. Pandey, who is the competent authority in such matters, admitted the hospital had written to the government departments concerned and the police. But it’s obvious though that the hospital was doing so with some degree of trepidation.
“Most of the occupants were government servants and we haven’t received any complaints of misbehaviour against them from local residents,” clarified Pandey.
The over-stayers at the centre of a brewing controversy were Pithoria police station officer-in-charge Neeraj Pathak, director of G. Alert security agency (a private concern) Rajeev Ranjan, procurement officer of Jharkhand AIDS Control Society B.N. Pandey and deputy director (health services) Anjali Das.
RIMS sources said while Pathak occupied doctor’s quarters bearing number 70, Ranjan, Pandey and Das were staying at quarters no 38, 46 and 63 respectively.
Though the RIMS management claimed it had sent notices to the illegal occupants directing them to vacate the quarters, most of them vehemently rejected the “illegal occupant” tag, claiming they had been “allowed” to stay there either by the RIMS management or by a government department.
Police officer Pathak’s case seemed to be the strongest. RIMS sources agreed he was allowed to stay there when he was officer-in-charge of the Bariatu police station that’s been operating out of the hospital guesthouse on campus since the last 15 years.
“Former director of RIMS J. Prasad had allowed me to stay in the doctor’s quarters. I do not take a house rent of Rs 1,500 per month payable to me by government in lieu of the quarters. We also pay maintenance charges of Rs 180 per month,” he clarified.
“In that case, how can I be termed an ‘illegal occupant’?”
But RIMS’s contention, according to sources, was that he had been allowed to stay there as officer-in-charge of the Bariatu police station. But he stayed on even after being transferred as officer-in-charge of Pithoria police station.
Pathak didn’t buy the argument. “There is no illegal occupation on RIMS campus as those who are staying there were allowed to so by the former director or the state government’s building construction department,” he said.
Nevertheless, the deputy director seemed satisfied with their efforts to get the four of 70 staff quarters vacated. “We have written letters to the bosses of the government employees who have occupied the RIMS quarters,” he said.
“The police department has responded positively. Recently we received a letter from the senior police superintendent’s office informing us about the steps it had taken to have the quarters occupied by its officer vacated soon,” Pandey added.
On about the involvement of the building construction department in allotting quarters, he said it had no right do so. “The building construction department is authorised to maintain the RIMS quarters but not to allot any,” he added.
Building construction department special secretary A.P.Choudhary agreed with L.B. Pandey. “We do not allot RIMS quarters,” he said.