PPE kit scam

Day after probe begins, GMC-Amritsar Principal, deputy removed

College purchased kits worth Rs60L in April

Day after probe begins, GMC-Amritsar Principal, deputy removed

Dr Rajiv Kumar Devgan (R) after taking charge as new Principal of Government Medical College in Amritsar on Wednesday.

Manmeet Singh Gill

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 1

Dr Rajiv Kumar Devgan is new GMC Principal

  • The Department of Medical Education and Research on Wednesday appointed Dr Rajiv Kumar Devgan, Professor and head, department of radiotherapy, as the new Principal of Government Medical College. The department has also appointed Dr Jagdev Singh Kular, Professor, anatomy, as the new Vice-Principal of GMC.

A day after inquiry into the alleged PPE kit scam begun, the Department of Medical Education and Research has removed Government Medical College Principal Dr Sujata Sharma and Vice-Principal Dr Veena Valecha from their respective posts.

According to sources, the move was linked to the recent PPE kit scam at the college. The college had purchased PPE kits worth over Rs60 lakh in April to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

Insiders claim that more heads are expected to roll within the next few days, as the issue of mismanagement in funds meant for battling Covid-19 pandemic was serious.

After the college made the PPE kits available to medical professionals, they complained that these were of poor quality. Later, a re-inspection committee constituted to report about the quality of these PPE kits had also rejected the kits on four grounds, including the material being non-water resistant and absence of N-95 masks with the kits.

Though the committee submitted its report on April 25, the college authorities continued to sit on it for over more than two months. Local MP Gurjit Singh Aujla, who issued a grant of Rs1crore to GMC for fighting Covid-19, had written to the government demanding a probe after the allegations of medical staff.

In mid-June, Aujla again wrote to the Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation complaining that the inquiry was being deliberately delayed.

In response, the ministry had on June 23 written to the state government to complete the inquiry in a time-bound manner. The state government then had entrusted the inquiry to Chief Administrator, Amritsar Development Authority. Beginning the probe on June 30, the investigator held the second meeting on Wednesday and recorded the statements of members of the inspection committee and nursing staff representatives.