C Times, 26 June 2017, Agartala
In a tragic incident, three members of a family including a 2-year-old girl died of snake bite in Narikelkunj area of Bowalkhali ADC village, Gondaherra.
The deceased Kamal Tripura, his wife Pratilakshmi Tripura and their 2-year-old daughter Dayalbati Tripura were bitten by a king cobra when they were sleeping on the night of 25th June 2017. The neighbours on noticing the huge cobra became suspicious and rushed to the room where Kamal and his family were sleeping. The neighbours then rushed the three of them to Gandacherra hospital but unfortunately, they died as antivenin medicines could not be administered due to non-availability.
The pitiable conditions of state-run medical hospitals of Tripura have hogged the limelight, despite government propaganda about development in the health sector.This incident has sparked a major controversy over the functioning of the health department of the state with the Opposition demanding the immediate resignation or dismissal of Health Minister Badal Chowdhury.
Earlier on 1st June 2017 a 55-year-old man named Swapan Das, of Ishanchandranagar, Amtali died when he was bitten by a snake at his home. He used to run a tea stall in Aswini Market. He is survived by his wife and two sons.
According to a report, the incident occurred when he was cleaning his mud-walled house. He was rushed to Hapania Ambedkar Medical Hospital initially and then referred to G.B hospital due to non-availability of venom antiserum and antivenin injections. Unfortunately, proper treatment could not be done at G.B hospital as the hospital had no stock of proper snake venom antidotes. He breathed his last the next morning.
The Centre has recently granted 1500 crores for converting Agartala Medical College (AGMC) into a super speciality hospital and Smt. Anupriya Patel ( Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India) was supposed to visit the state on 27th May 2017 for the building foundation stone ceremony but the visit was forced to cancel by our state Health Minister Badal Choudhury as he has sent a letter to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare stating that building inauguration ceremonies are not organised in our state and he will not be on station on 27th May.
Whereas CM Manik Sarkar is a regular inaugurator of shopping malls, polo towers, bridges etc. Now when the centre is gladly granting 1500 crores for the development of AGMC the state govt. is not showing any interest in this project just because this will lift the image of BJP.
According to political analysts the state govt. could have welcomed the centre’s decision of setting up a multi-speciality hospital more generously instead of showing such arrogance. Otherwise, the day is not far when we will witness such tragic deaths on a regular basis.