Rs.168 million go waste as recently installed telephone exchange at CMC Hospital Larkana develops faults

Ratodero, Sindh: Recently installed new telephone exchange has extremely worried the Chandka Medical College Hospital CMCH administration, Larkana, as the communication system in the hospital has gone bad to worse as it has started developing major faults daily.

The telephone exchange was procured during 201011 costing Rs.168 million. It 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 city. Laying substandard silver cables instead of copper has multiplied the problem as the telephone exchange mostly remains out of order along with its towers while the cables have started rusting. Low quality telephone sets have also been supplied each costing Rs.1800/, sources disclosed.

Its UPS uninterrupted power supply system is also faulty as batteries mostly remain out of order. Its CLI, Video, Internet systems are not functioning. The exchange equipment are rusting but the keys are with the suppliers who are not responding to the SOS calls of the hospital.

Sources said that even 800 extensions have not been connected as per contract. Underground cables have not been laid causing hardships. Sources further said that CMCH authorities have been writing many times to the suppliers for replacing the system but in vain.

Medical Superintendent MS in a recent letter has asked the suppliers to get the equipment inspected either through National Telecommunication Corporation engineers, PTCL engineers or private experienced hands within a month or else it will be carried out at its risk & costs but so far no response which shows that the equipment are of low quality and need thorough probe by the concerned agencies. The security deposit of the suppliers amounting to about Rs.1.5 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, I. I. Chundrigar Road Karachi the MS said that the quality of the material supplied & installed is very poor and unsatisfactory and that everything supplied has started collapsing before expiry of warrantee period due to which the communication system in the hospital has gone bad to worse which cannot be tolerated as the government has spent millions of rupees 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 of the related field and certificate is to be furnished which they supplier have not so far submitted which also shows that the material is of substandard quality.

The MS has further warned that if the system is not replaced within a month with a better quality, the matter shall be referred to government for initiating strict action under the law which includes blacklisting of company. The copies of notice have been sent to Health Secretary and Commissioner Larkana division for further necessary action.