The Mumbai police's cancer rest house at Naigaon in central Mumbai, which is used by families of outstation cops seeking treatment in city hospitals, is set for a makeover after actor Akshay Kumar donated Rs1.5 crore for the construction of an additional floor.
The rest house, which presently has 24 rooms, will get 42 more as a result of the construction, which is also being partly funded by the state government. "Akshay's father died of prostate cancer and he wanted to do something for those suffering this ailment," said SP Yadav, joint commissioner of police (administration).
Police officials say that the rest house, which has been operational since the last two years, is open to not only policemen and their family members from Maharashtra, but can also be used by their counterparts from other states.
At present, 10 people can stay in each of the 24 rooms of the ground-floor structure, but the new rooms on the floor above will be able to accommodate a lot more. "The floor being added to the structure with 42 more rooms will be able to house 42 people each," Yadav said.
The cost of staying in the rest house is marginal - Rs15 to Rs20 per day. Officials say this might go down further or may be waived off once the additional rooms are ready. "There will be air-conditioning in the new rooms, but this does not mean that we will be charging more rent. In fact, it is either going to be decreased or waived off. The money that we are now charging is used for maintenance," Yadav said.
Officials say that the rest house has proved to be beneficial for policemen in the country, who would otherwise have to spend a lot on accommodation in hotels, and that is why the home ministry has decided to build more rooms for people coming to the city for cancer treatment. The additional floor is expected to be ready in six months.