Land ready, but ESI hospital eludes Ranipet for 47 yrs

Around 40,000 workers of various industries in the district are in a bind as repeated efforts to get the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) to establish a 50-bed hospital on the land reportedly provided by Small Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu (SIPCOT) has not borne fruit even after nearly 47 years.
Land ready, but ESI hospital eludes Ranipet for 47 yrs
The site allotted for the hospital at the Ranipet industrial estate


RANIPET: According to sources, SIPCOT established the Small Industries Development Corporation Limited (SIDCO) by allotting land in Ranipet in 1971, and two years later, handed over five acres of land to ESI to build a hospital for the benefit of workers in local industries.

However, repeated attempts to make ESI construct the hospital fell on deaf ears as it didn’t even acknowledge letters on the issue, said Ranipet small and tiny industries’ association presidentR Amirthakatesan.

“We addressed letters on the issue to the ESI Chennai Regional Director, the State government’s Medical and Rural Health Services Director, the Salem-based Regional Administrative Medical Officer, the Chennai ESI Joint Director, the Vellore District Collector, the State Industries Commissioner and the DIC (District Industries Centre) at Vellore, but none responded to our pleas,” said association secretary L Gandhijothi.

Currently, ESI runs a dispensary near a private theatre adjacent to the Chittoor road and when association members visited the facility on Thursday, they were informed that it lacked medical staff and transport facility.

Lack of ESI medical facilities, however, results in patients who come to the dispensary being told to go to ESI facility in Vellore. “As the dispensary lacks facilities to handle deliveries, women workers have to get treated at nearby private hospitals, thus losing out on reimbursement facilities which is an ESI hospital benefit,” said AT Jaganathan, treasurer ofthe association.

When enquiries were made as to why the hospital was not built, the response was that the allotted land was in a highly polluted industrial area, a claim that was, however, denied by association vice president Y Sampath. With the allotted land now ridden with bushes and weeds, the association plans to meet District Collector S Divyadarshini to requestimmediate action.

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