48-hr hunger strike by two Vikhroli residents forces BMC to fast-track hospital reconstruction | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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48-hr hunger strike by two Vikhroli residents forces BMC to fast-track hospital reconstruction

BySomita Pal
May 04, 2023 12:59 AM IST

The residents, who went on a hunger strike on May 1, are Milind Parab, 56, and Ashok Kharat, 37. The duo wanted to highlight the plight of the locals, who have been deprived of quality healthcare in the vicinity after the 100-bed KMJP Hospital was shut.

Mumbai: Forty-eight hours after two residents of Vikhroli went on a hunger strike, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) was forced to accept their demand and fast-track the reconstruction of Krantiveer Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Hospital (KMJPH), which was shut five years ago after it was found to be dilapidated.

Mumbai, India - May 03, 2023: Citizens of Bhandup, Kanjurmarg and Vikhroli areas stage a hunger strike for their long pending and much needed demand of BMC's Krantiveer Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Hospital redevelopment and provision of alternative hospital for people of the suburban, at Azad Maidan, in Mumbai, India, on Wednesday, May 03, 2023. (Photo by Bhushan Koyande/HT Photo) (HT PHOTO)
Mumbai, India - May 03, 2023: Citizens of Bhandup, Kanjurmarg and Vikhroli areas stage a hunger strike for their long pending and much needed demand of BMC's Krantiveer Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Hospital redevelopment and provision of alternative hospital for people of the suburban, at Azad Maidan, in Mumbai, India, on Wednesday, May 03, 2023. (Photo by Bhushan Koyande/HT Photo) (HT PHOTO)

The residents, who went on a hunger strike on May 1, are Milind Parab, 56, and Ashok Kharat, 37. The duo wanted to highlight the plight of the locals, who have been deprived of quality healthcare in the vicinity after the 100-bed hospital was shut.

The duo met Sanjay Kurhade, deputy municipal commissioner and Dr Vidya Thakur, chief medical superintendent of peripheral hospitals, BMC on Wednesday evening after which they broke their hunger strike.

Parab said, “My 16-year-old son had a fall and fractured his hand. We took him to Ambedkar Maternity Hospital in Tagore Nagar to where the BMC had shifted its services after KMJPH shut. However, we were referred to Rajawadi Hospital (Ghatkopar) as they were not equipped with the infrastructure to treat him.”

Parab and Kharat said this has been the experience of most of the residents in the locality. “Recently, we lost a man, in his 30s, who suffered a heart attack and died before we could take him to Rajawadi Hospital. From Ambedkar Hospital, we are either referred to Rajawadi Hospital or LTMG Sion Hospital,” said Kharat.

Seeing the delay on the part of BMC in reconstructing the hospital, Amhi Vikhrolikar — the local resident group, decided to undertake a chain hunger strike in September 2022.

“The BMC decided to redevelop the 100-bed KMJPH into a 500-bed hospital, however, there was no progress being made. In September, we sat on a chain hunger strike after which chief minister Eknath Shinde asked the BMC to sort out the issues and start the redevelopment work at the earliest,” said Parab.

He said since September, he has written 84 letters to different BMC authorities and to the CM office to find out about the progress made on the project. “Since we did not get any positive response, we decided to sit on a hunger strike again,” he said.

After meeting the two Vikroli residents, Dr Thakur said, “We explained to them the progress of the project. To build a 500-bed hospital, we needed adjacent land, which comes under MHADA that has demanded 13.23 crore to grant a no-objection certificate to allow redevelopment. We have decided to pay, and the proposal has been sent to the municipal commissioner for signature,” she said.

Dr Thakur said while construction of the hospital will take a few years, they plan to find an alternative health facility nearby.

“There is a 160-bed Shushrusha Hospital in Kannamwar Nagar. We have set up a committee that is checking and finalising the rates. If the deal comes through, we will have the alternative health facility there,” she said.

Voices

The BMC decided to redevelop the 100-bed KMJPH into a 500-bed hospital, however, there was no progress being made. In September, we sat on a chain hunger strike after which chief minister Eknath Shinde asked the BMC to sort out the issues.

— Milind Parab, Resident.

Recently, we lost a man, in his 30s, who suffered a heart attack and died before we could take him to Rajawadi Hospital. From Ambedkar Hospital, we are either referred to Rajawadi Hospital or LTMG Sion Hospital.

Ashok Kharat, Resident.

To build a 500-bed hospital, we needed adjacent land, which comes under MHADA that has demanded 13.23 crore to grant a no-objection certificate to allow redevelopment. We have decided to pay.

Dr Vidya Thakur, chief medical superintendent, BMC

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