The ailing Wadia Children Hospital and Nawrojee Maternity Hospital in the heart of Mumbai at Parel might get a fresh lease of life.
A four-member committee headed by health secretary Bhushan Gagrani has been formed to study the financial mess which led to a shut down of the children’s hospital.
The decision was taken by health minister Suresh Shetty in a meeting with industrialist Ness Wadia, representatives of the government, civic administration and workers from the hospital.
Ness Wadia is a trustee of the hospital and joint managing director of the Bombay Dyeing group.
Rumours were afloat that the Wadia’s Trust, which runs the hospitals, wanted to shut the hospital spread over 23 acres. Instead, the Wadias wanted to exploit the land commercially by building a mall or a world-class private hospital.
Nusli Wadia, Ness’s father who is also a trustee, had in a reply to a court litigation with workers of the hospital in 2005 mentioned setting up a hospital of general medicine on the same place.
“The Wadia Trust does not want to close down any of the two hospitals. There are issues related to finance with the civic body and the state which will be dealt with by the committee,” said Shetty after the meeting.
The Trust asked the state and the BMC, which contributes funds for running the hospital, to settle their dues running into over Rs20 crore and share the cost of repairing the 80-year-old buildings.
“Of the estimated Rs 17 crore needed for repairs, they are asking us to put in Rs 6 crore which is also being looked by the committee. The issues that the trust has with the workers over the pay will be settled between them,” Shetty added.
Ness Wadia rubbished rumours of any land grab or any malls coming up on the hospital land.
“We will not rob the city of any hospitals meant for the poor and needy and we want the hospitals to function,” said Wadia.
“There are some constraints in the budget which is because of payments due because of which we are not able to increase the salaries of our employees who want payment according to the sixth pay commission,” he added.