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Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot on Tuesday repeated his concern on the rising number of infants’ death in government hospitals, saying that someone will have to take accountability.

“Such cases can reoccur if we do not establish accountability,” he said while talking to media.

“It is a matter of deciding responsibility, I said earlier also, and today again, I am repeating that we will have to decide on the accountability so that such incidents do not recur in future,” he said.

Pilot said that their “response should have been compassionate and sensitive”.

“People should feel that those sitting in power are working to improve the situation. If someone is at fault, then we should definitely take action. Such reports are coming from other cities also, we should focus attention on improvement.

“The issue is not of any person or any party but the issue is to rectify the situation,” he said.

Pilot’s earlier statement on accountability triggered a war of words as Health minister Raghu Sharma said there would take responsibility but the PWD ministry (headed by Pilot) should also take responsibility for why repairs in Kota’s JK Lon hospital – from where the deaths were reported – were not done.

“We are taking our responsibility, but the windows were broken in the hospital, sewerage water was coming … the doctors shall not be doing it. This work belongs to the PWD. We were writing letters, but the PWD did not work. They too should take responsibility as we are taking our responsibility,” he said.

Soon after Sharma’s statement, the PWD ministry issued an official release, blaming the Medical Education Department for not releasing the required budget for construction funds on time.

Executive Engineer, PWD, Virender Kumar Porwar stated: “On the request of JK Lon, Kota, the PWD sent an estimate of Rs 10 lakh on July 23, 2019. However, the department sanctioned the funds this year on January 1, 2020, and thereafter we have started with the process of tenders in this direction.

“The department received Rs 1 lakh till December 31, 2019, with which broken windows and doors were rectified.”

Sharma, when asked about PWD’s clarification on Tuesday, declined to respond.

“I won’t comment as this shall politicise the matter further,” he said.

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