Siraha, July 20: After the name change of one of the oldest government hospital in Lahan, from Ram Kumar Uma Prasad Memorial Hospital to Provincial Hospital Lahan, dispute about the land ownership has gotten more complicated.
The hospital was handed over to the government 40 years ago after land was bought and building was constructed jointly by the elders of Murarka and Sharada family, who are the leading business families of the country and are permanent residents of Lahan. The hospital was operating under the name Ram Kumar Uma Prasad Memorial Hospital in memory of the elders of both families with the aim to develop Lahan as a business hub.
The first point of agreement between the representatives of the families Aatma Ram Murarka, Shiv Ratan Sharada and the then administrative officer, Madan Dev Acharya on September 14, 1978 indicates that the land bought by the donors and the constructed building must be handed over to the government in 1981.
But, the families were reluctant to hand over the hospital and the land as the government did not elect the members of the family in the hospital development committee and the hospital was not provided with 25 beds service and facilities, which were in the conditions of the agreement. The hospital is being run by the Department of Health Services since 1981 though the donor families have not handed over the hospital and the land.
The 1 bigha 15 kattha 10 dhur land is in combined ownership of Duli Chand Sharada Maheshwari and Pareshwari Lal Murarka and the hospital has been provided the service, facilities and budget of 15 beds by the ministry since the beginning.
"The former hospital development committee had demanded the donor family handover the ownership of the land many times as they could not upgrade the service and facility unless the land was in the name of the hospital but every time the family stood firm and said they would not do so unless the conditions were fulfilled by the department," said former chairman of the committee, Phuleshwor Mahato.
The Madhes government changed the name of hospital by the cabinet's decision on December 16, 2021 even though controversy over the ownership of the land was ongoing which made it more complicated.
"We had already convinced the donor's family the last time to transfer the ownership of the land to the hospital but the Madhes government's decision to remove the owners name has made all of our attempts a failure and insulted them," said ward chairman of Lahan Municipality-3, Ram Dayal Mahato.
Pawan Sharada, a representative of the Sharada family, said that they will not hand over the land to the hospital under any circumstances and added that discussions were held between the two families to not hand over the ownership.