Now it has somewhat being proved that it was the lure of lucre which forced the administration of BRD Medical College, Gorakhpur, to hold back the payment of over Rs 68 lakh of an oxygen gas firm which resulted in unfortunate death of around 73 children in the hospital .
Sources claimed that payment to the oxygen supplier was delayed because the hospital had asked for more commission to clear the payments. According to the records, the BRD hospital had a bank balance of Rs 1.86 crore, but they refused to pay the bills. On August 4, the government sent Rs 2 crore to the hospital, but the principal Rajiv Kumar Mishra, who has been suspended, refused to pay the bills and did the same on August 11 only after the children died due to scarcity of oxygen. However, the suspended Principal has his own version, saying that the delay in the payment was due to the visit of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on August 8-9 as he was busy on the arrangements for the VVIP visit. “We made the payment on August 11, when other issues were sorted out," the principal said, while denying vehemently about the charges of commission. The Lucknow based Pushpa Sales Pvt Ltd had repeatedly written letters to the hospital administration to clear its dues of Rs 68 lakh, but the same was not cleared as hospital was asking for more commissions this year as compared to last year.
According to the reports, there was an unwritten understanding that company will pay 10 per cent commission of the total cost. But this year the hospital administration was asking for 12 per cent commission. “This was a huge amount which we refused to part with. Our argument is that as we are paying 10 per cent commission at every payment there was no need to increase it. We even argued that during monsoon number of encephalitis cases goes up. This means more supply of liquid oxygen tanks and indirectly the officials will earn more,” the officer said on condition of anonymity. As the payments were delayed the company wrote letter to District Magistrate, Gorakhpur on June 3 with a request to clear dues at the earliest. Sources say DM had spoken to the Hospital administration about it, but the Principal claimed to have assured DM that he would manage. Earlier, the company had also written a letter to DG Health on April 12, when the due was Rs 55 lakh. A legal notice was also served to BRD College on July 30, but the hospital administrationnow say they are not aware of it. In a press conference Medical education Minister AshutoshTandon confirmed that arrear of Pushpa Sales has gone up to Rs 68. 65 lakh and questioned as why the Hospital did not make the payment when DG Health had sent Rs 4 crore to the BRD Medical college, but he did not say that company had also written a letter to him – which he did not reply. “We wrote around a dozen letters to hospital administration as well as other officials and government in last six months, but the payments were not cleared because we refused to pay 12 per cent commission,” the official said. The BRD Medical college has its own oxygen plant which has 12,000 liter tank. On an average the hospital requires 8000 liter oxygen per week. One time supply costs hospital Rs 2.5 lakh. Meanwhile, controversy broke out on the removal DrKafeel Khan as the Nodal Officer for the Department of Pediatrics of Baba Raghav Das Medical College and in his place DrBhupendra Sharma has been appointed.
However, Director General medical education K K Gupta maintained that Principal Rajiv Mishra was suspended after the government received several complaints against him." His work was disorganised, substandard," he further said. Dr Gupta had also defended the children's death saying this is peak season for encephalitis.' It's clear these deaths have no relation with shortage of Oxygen," he claimed.