The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to reopen the proposal of a public-private partnership with SevenHills Healthcare Private Limited to develop a state-of-the-art hospital at Andheri.
President Pratibha Patil inaugurated the first phase of the hospital, Asia’s largest super specialty hospital, last week but the BMC and hospital management are yet to sign a Memorandum of Understanding.
Mayor Shraddha Jadhav even threatened to take the 17 acres of BMC-owned land back from the hospital if its management does not fulfil the conditions laid down in the agreement with the BMC in 2005.
Of the six terms in the agreement that was signed in 2005, the hospital has agreed only to two.
“If they don’t agree to our terms we will take back the land. We will reopen the proposal,” the mayor said after corporators across party lines took this decision at the BMC’s general body meeting on Thursday.
The BMC and the hospital management have had several meetings. “We have had meetings with them. We are still to reach common ground,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar.
The BMC had asked the hospital for a 20 per cent reservation in its super-specialty wards apart from a reservation in the general ward.
The BMC also wanted two representatives of the corporation on the hospital’s board of directors. The hospital has not agreed to either of these demands.
“The hospital management has invested Rs 193 crore in the construction of the building. We will repay that amount and acquire the building along with the land,” said Standing Committee Chairman Rahul Shewale.
The other points the hospital management has also refused to provide medicines at rates prescribed by the BMC. The Marol Cancer Hospital was one of the most ambitious projects mooted by the BMC in 1992. Then municipal commissioner Sharad Kale had written a note saying the new hospital would ease the load off Parel’s Tata Memorial Hospital. He had said the project would be completed in phases.
Over the next decade, however, work was done at a slow pace and the BMC had spent Rs 40 crore in developing infrastructure and constructing a building. In 2006, the SevenHills group took senior civic leaders from the saffron combine and the Opposition to Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, to show them their hospital.
The Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party were adamant on handing over the Marol Cancer Hospital project to SevenHills but the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) opposed it.
The Congress-NCP government in the state had the powers to block the deal but chose not to.