Civic body rapped for delay in revamp of Bhagwati HospitalUpdated: Dec 08, 2019 01:17 IST
In an inspection report by the comptroller and auditor general of India (CAG), the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been slammed for the slow pace of its revamp of the civic-run Bhagwati Hospital in Borivli. The nearly ₹500-crore project to expand the 300-bed hospital into a 1,000-bed interventional, multi-disciplinary, tertiary-care hospital was approved in 2009 and scheduled to be completed in two phases, but is yet to be completed.
Following the approval of the revamp in 2009, staff and patients of Bhagwati Hospital were shifted to the nearby civic-run Shatabdi Hospital at Kandivli in 2013. The contract for the second phase was awarded this year. In its inspection report, CAG stated, “Non-construction of main hospital building even after a lapse of 10 years from approval of Municipal Commissioner resulted into non-functioning of surgery, obstetrics gynaecology, ortho, pediatrics, ENT, ophthalmic, trauma intensive care unit and casualty departments in Bhagwati Hospital. This resulted in less attendance and admission of patients in Bhagwati Hospital and the people of surrounding areas are deprived from the benefit of [a] local hospital. As a result, the revenue of the department had also reduced gradually.”
While work on the main building of the hospital is yet to begin, BMC in 2016 started revamping the outpatient department, which has around 110 beds, but CAG cited several irregularities in this work too, like furniture worth ₹22.84 lakh being bought but not utilised. “More than 50% of the furniture purchased was not required and as such was lying unutilised for more than three years,” said the report.
Further, the CAG report found “an excess provision” for the hospital’s overall budget for the past five years. “The reasons for making such excess provision were called for in audit. In reply, the department stated that due to non-functioning of hospital in full fledge, the budget could not be utilised in full. It was also stated that necessary action would be taken henceforth during preparation of budget estimates. The reply is not tenable because, the budget provision was made in excess of the actual requirement, which is incorrect.” Shiv Sena corporator Amey Ghole, who heads BMC’s health committee, said, “I will go through the report, and we will work together with BMC to complete the work soon to ensure the hospital is made available for public.”