‘Probe Andheri hospital deal’ | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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‘Probe Andheri hospital deal’

mumbai Updated: Jul 21, 2010 02:02 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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The super specialty SevenHills hospital at Andheri, inaugurated recently by President Pratibha Patil, seems to be in trouble.

Minister of State for Urban Development Bhaskar Jadhav on Tuesday announced that the secretary, Urban Development, will probe the agreement between the hospital and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) after legislators from the ruling and Opposition parties alleged there were irregularities in the project.

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and Peasants and Workers Party legislators raised the issue saying the hospital did not ensure 80 per cent jobs for locals or reserve 20 per cent of the beds for the poor.

The discussion took a political turn when Jadhav slammed the Shiv Sena that controls the BMC for not including the clause that locals should get jobs in the agreement.

“You talk about protecting the rights of locals. So why was this condition not included in the agreement?’’ Jadhav asked.

He said the agreement had loopholes that the government planned to plug.

“It is a 1,500-bed hospital estimated to have cost Rs 1,100 crore. It would be impractical to now suggest that the land be taken back and cancel the deal,” Jadhav said.

“We will ensure 80 per cent locals get jobs here and 22 per cent poor get free treatment.’’

Congress legislator Amin Patel insisted on a probe in the deal, alleging it reeked of financial irregularites.

“The BMC is charging only 17 per cent premium for developing 30 per cent of this plot commercially. For other big hospitals, the BMC has charged a premium of 70 per cent,’’ Amin said.

MNS legislators Bala Nandgaonkar and Nitin Sardesai insisted since the plot was reserved for a cancer hospital, at least 40 per cent of the beds should be reserved for cancer patients. The controversy erupted soon after the hospital’s inauguration when corporators refused to sign the Memorandum of Understanding saying the hospital had not fulfilled four of the six conditions listed in the initial agreement.

The BMC had given 17 acres of land to SevenHills Health Care Limited to run a super specialty hospital on a public-private-partnership basis.