In what could be the first such facility in the state, the civic body has agreed in principle to set up a dedicated centre at the KEM hospital to help survivors of sexual abuse.
Ashish Shelar, the Bharatiya Janata Party's Mumbai unit chief, said on Friday that municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte had given his nod to the proposal and that this would be submitted by the civic body and the police to the Centre soon.
Shelar, who is also member of the state legislative council, said Kunte had also approved the location of the centre, which will likely be funded from the Nirbhaya Fund.
The centre will focus on providing paramedical, legal and social facilities for women and children who have been subjected to sexual abuse.
The matter was discussed at a meeting attended by Kunte, Sadanand Date, joint commissioner of police, Manoj Kotak, leader of the BJP group in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), officials of the civic health department and representatives of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.
"According to the economic survey published by the state government, the number of cases of child abduction and sexual assault has increased by 13 percent in the past two years. Similarly, cases of sexual assault on women have gone up by 16 percent. There is an urgent need to set up such a centre where the survivors get all the care necessary," Shelar said.
He explained that the BMC and the police would frame the standard operating procedure (SOP) for running the facility and ensure that there are adequate personnel like psychologists and health officers at the centre.
"Once this is done, the proposal will be forwarded to the Centre for approval. We should be ready with the proposal during the parliamentary session. Getting an approval should not be a problem as we have already spoken to prime minister Narendra Modi and Union women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi about this," the legislator said.
A Rs1,000 crore corpus, under the name of Nirbhaya Fund, was set up to finance the cost of safety measures for women and assistance to survivors of sexual abuse, following the gang rape of a student in Delhi in 2012. During the Lok Sabha election campaign, Narendra Modi slammed the UPA government for not utilizing the fund and he promised to take immediate steps if elected to power.