6 yrs after Ustad’s death, govt’s promise to pay his bill unfulfilled
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During his lifetime, Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan mesmerised the world with his shehnai. One-day national mourning was declared on his death. But, more than six years after his demise, the Uttar Pradesh government is yet to reimburse the last medical bill of the shehnai maestro.
An amount of Rs 83,751 is still outstanding against Ustad's name at Heritage Hospital in Varanasi, where he breathed his last on August 21, 2006. Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav, who was then Chief Minister, had announced that the government would bear the cost of his treatment.
On Wednesday, the state government, in a reply to a question by BSP legislator Sunil Kumar Singh Yadav, informed the Assembly that no bill related to Ustad Bismillah Khan was received at Chief Medical Officer Varanasi's office and, thus, the question of reimbursement does not arise.
Ustad Bismillah Khan was admitted in Heritage Hospital, Varanasi, on August 17, 2006. On August 21, 2006, he died. The Heritage Hospital authorities say they had the receipt of the bill which was presented to the office of the CMO in Varanasi.
"We had given every single bill related to Ustadji to the CMO office. Everything was done in the proper manner. We have not received the money from the government as medical reimbursement," said Ajai Rai, PRO of Heritage Hospital.
Another hospital official said, "We have all the receipts of the bills submitted to the CMO office. We had even sent letters to the CM's office in Lucknow. The CMO office informed us that there is no provision of reimbursement. We are now tired of running to his office."
The BSP MLA who had submitted the question claimed that he had concrete information that the last medical bill of Ustad Bismillah Khan is still pending. "I was pained at the treatment meted out to such a great personality. I am not satisfied with the government's answer. I will pursue it further," he stated.
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