Yerawada mental hospital seeks CCTVs, police chowki

The regional mental hospital in Yerawada has been pressing for its demand to install CCTV cameras at sensitive spots on its premises, police escort for medico-legal psychiatric patients and a police chowki.

Hospital superintendent Dr Vilas Bailume said a proposal to set up 36 CCTVs had been submitted to the Health Director Satish Pawar.

"We are pursuing the matter and have identified around 10 places that need surveillance. These include the female ward gate, Alandi gate, observation and admission ward. Often patients turn violent," Bailume said.

While the hospital authorities have also demanded that a police chowki be set up, Bailume said there was an immediate need for police escorts for patients, who were convicted or were undertrials and admitted to the hospital for psychiatric treatment.

"We have also submitted various proposals for police personnel to escort patients when they are taken to Sassoon general hospital," Bailume said.

Out of a strength of 1,820 patients in the hospital, at least 40 are convicted or undertrials, and admitted to the medico-legal ward for psychiatric treatment. There are cases where relatives of patients often get into an argument with doctors and nurses. Anti-social elements often take advantage of such situations," the superintendent added.

Neelam Gorhe, MLC and president of Stree Adhar Kendra, raised the issue of the alleged rape of a 22-year-old mentally-challenged girl from Osmanabad at the hospital. In a letter sent to Home Secretary R R Patil, Gorhe said issues related to security at the hospital needed to be addressed immediately. She urged Patil to visit the hospital and inspect the issue that had affected the smooth functioning of the hospital.

Dr Sanjay Kumawat, Deputy Director (Mental Health), told The Indian Express that CCTV cameras would soon be installed at the hospital. PWD officials are also preparing a budget estimate to repair internal roads, replace the 100-year-old drainage line and electrification. "CFL bulbs will be soon be installed at various corridors and toilets will renovated. The issue of sub-standard cloth used to stitch patients' uniform will be dealt with by inviting fresh tenders," Kumawat added.

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