Patiala, May 28
The Health Department has allegedly signed an annual repair contract for hundreds of sprayer pumps at a cost which is nearly equivalent to the actual price of the pump.
As per the contract, the repair of knapsack sprayers, which are used to spray larvicide, will cost Rs 800 at district headquarters and Rs 700 at the Chandigarh headquarters. Ironically, a new knapsack sprayer pump is available at Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 in the open market. However, health officials claimed the Punjab Health System Corporation (PHSC) had purchased over a hundred knapsack sprayers at around Rs 1,590 each in 2018. A knapsack sprayer is a manually operated tool and no sophisticated machine; therefore, no costly repair is required, say experts. They further explained if any pump was repaired twice, the Health Department would be spending more on repair work than the cost of buying a new one.
Will look into details
We will make the payment only for those pumps which will be repaired. We will look into the details of the annual repair contract. Dr Gagandeep Grover, state nodal officer
One of the district epidemiologists said: “There are no sophisticated parts in a knapsack sprayer, therefore, the repair work is minimum. Signing an annual repair contract which is almost equivalent to its cost of the entire sprayer should be probed.”
When questioned, Dr Gagandeep Grover, State Nodal Officer, said: “Only 23-35 Knapsack sprayers were repaired during the last season. Moreover, we will make the payment only for those pumps will be repaired and not that of all. Anyhow, we will again look into the details of the annual repair contract.”
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