Punganur village near Arcot town in Ranipet will have a new Primary Health care Centre (PHC). Initially, Kavanur was chosen but after a survey the revenue officials found that the government did not have one-acre land required for the PHC. Also, the authorities decided not to construct a PHC in Kavanur since the village was located on a rocky terrain as it was on the foothills.
Earlier this week, residents of Kavanur had blocked Arcot – Arani Main Road demanding the construction of the PHC in their village. On an earlier occasion three decades ago, Kavanur had missed out on the facility when authorities constructed a PHC at Vilapakkam village, 10 km away, on a five-acre plot.
“We asked revenue officials to demolish the dilapidated government buildings or take over temple lands in the village. However, no action has been taken on the request,” said S. Marimuthu, a resident of Kavanur.
Revenue and health officials, however, said that the few dilapidated government buildings like the health sub-centre and library have much less space than what is required to build a PHC. At least one acre of land is needed to build the facility.
Also, the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments department was willing only to lease its land for the new centre in the village and not transfer the land as required by the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine (DPH), which maintains the centres in the State.
“We have been asking Kavanur village panchayat officials and residents for the past six months to identify a land for the new centre. As there was no response, Punganur village has been chosen for the new centre,” D. Manimaran, Deputy Director of Health Services (DDHS), Ranipet, told The Hindu. .
The new centre will be built on a one-acre plot belonging to the government in Punganur village, around three km from Kavanur, at a cost of ₹1.2 crore. The 20-bedded centre will have one duty doctor, two staff nurses and one health inspector. The centre will also have an out-patient ward, maternity care ward, laboratory and a housing quarters for staff nurses.
At present, residents in these villages have to travel to Vilapakkam, which has the PHC. The new centre will reduce the travel distance for residents of Thimiri panchayat by at least 6-7 km. As per norms, a PHC should be built for every 30,000 population and the centre should be located in not less than eight km distance.