The state health department will soon take action against encroachments and slums that have mushroomed in hospital premises.
According to a senior minister, after a discussion at the state cabinet meeting on Wednesday, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan termed it a serious issue and ordered the health department to take immediate action against the encroachments. “There was a consensus that such encroachments pose a security threat to the hospitals and should be removed,” the minister said.
This drive would most likely be taking off from Mumbai, since two of the major hospitals, including Sir JJ Hospital and GT Hospital have a significant number of encroachers on their premises. Next in line would be the government medical hospital in Nagpur.
The state run JJ hospital, spread over a 47-hectare area, faces maximum threat from encroachments and at least 20% of its area is encroached upon. A 2010 government field survey showed that encroachments include a few manufacturing units who even take electricity from the hospital.
The situation at GT Hospital is worse – 114 shanties occupy over 3,940-sqm, which are set to be redeveloped. A former superintendent of the hospital connived with a builder to make it eligible for a project with the slum rehabilitation authority (SRA), claiming the slums stood on public land before 2005. The government is currently looking into the issue.