By Arnab Mitra
The space in front of a nursing home is usually taken up by chemist stores and ambulances. However, the situation in front of the S C Bagchi Nursing Home at Ramrajatala, Howrah, is quite different. Here, a foreign liquor shop takes a position of pride in the same building as the nursing home.
“Desh ta boro bichitro, kothay hospital-er samne shudhu oshudh-er dokan thakbe, ekahney mod-er dokan ache (This country is full of ironies. Whereas there should just be medical stores in front of a hospital, here, we have a liquor store.)” said Amia Lahiri, relative of one of the patients in the nursing home.
The Nursing Home owner S.C. Bagchirefused to comment on the issue. “It is an administrative matter. No one has complained of it till now. What is your problem if a person decides to earn doing business?” he remarked.
The owner of the liquor shop took a different stance.
“Bahut bada logon ko humne dekh lia. Aap kya karoge reporter saab?” he asked. (I have dealt with bigger men. What are you going to do Mr Reporter?)
“Turant yahan se nikal nahi gaye, toh bura hoga,” he threatened. (If you don’t leave right now, the consequences won’t be good.)
The West Bengal opposition party might want to blame the Mamata Banerjee Government for their administrative failure. However, it should be mentioned that the liquor shop has been running for more than 10 years, having got its license when Buddhadeb Bhattacharya was the Bengal CM.
When the issue was brought to the Chakraberia Police Station, the OC promised to “investigate the matter”.
MLA Arup Roy said, “I congratulate NewsGram for bringing this to my notice. The Government will take necessary action”. Roy is also the Minister for Agricultural Marketing in Bengal.
Patients gave mixed reactions on being asked about this issue. Some are glad for the respite brought by the easy availability of drinks during difficult times while others blamed the government for their “callous attitude”.
A resident from the area, Ankit Tripathi said, “CPI (M), Trinamool sab same hey. Kuch nahi hoga, jaise chal raha tha, waise hi chalega.” (CPI (M), Trinamool, they are all the same. Nothing will change. Things will go on just as before.)
“Police, political party, sab kuch jante hain. Phir bhi ye log kuch karenge nahi, kyunki inhe paise miltey hain.” (Police, political party, they all know everything. But they won’t take any action because they get money out of it.)