Substandard telephone exchange torments CMCH administration

LARKANA: Telephone exchange installed and procured in 2010-11 at the cost of Rs 168 million has extremely worried the Chandka Medical College Hospital (CMCH) administration in Larkana as the entire communication system in the hospital has gone down the drain since last three days.

The telephone exchange has 800 extensions capacity, 20 Internet and video call facilities. It has also connected all five blocks of the hospital with wireless towers system, which are located at different locations of the hospital. Substandard silver cables instead of copper were laid which multiplied the problems as the telephone exchange mostly remained out of order since installation along with its towers, while the cables have rusted. Low quality telephone sets were supplied each costing Rs 1800, sources disclosed which are available at Rs300 in the open market.

Its UPS (uninterrupted power supply) system is also faulty as batteries mostly remain nonfunctional. Its CLI, Video, Internet systems are also not functioning.

Medical Superintendent (MS) in a recent letter asked the suppliers to get the equipment inspected either through National Telecommunication Corporation engineers, PTCL engineers or private experienced technical hands within a month or else it will be carried out at its risk & costs but so far without response which proves that the equipment is of lowest quality and need thorough probe by the concerned agencies. The security deposit of the suppliers amounting to about Rs.1.6 million has however been withheld by CMCH authorities till finalization of the case by quality supply of the telephone exchange or its replacement as per tender specifications & requirements.

In the letter addressed to the suppliers (General Traders, II Chundrigar Road Karachi), the MS said that the quality of the material supplied and installed is very poor and un-satisfactory and that everything supplied had collapsed during warrantee period due to which the communication system in the hospital had gone bad to worse, which cannot be tolerated because the government has spent millions of tax payers’ money over its procurement. The letter further demanded that after supply, installation and demonstration of the equipment inspection is to be carried out by the experts in the related field and certificate is to be furnished, which they (suppliers) has not so far submitted which also shows that the material is of substandard quality.