The Bombay high court on Wednesday directed Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital and BMC to file a reply in a public interest litigation (PIL) that has sought reopening of the children hospital in Parel at the earliest. The hospital was closed for renovation in 2009 and since then it has been functioning from a premises in the next compound.
The hospital informed a division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice MS Sonak that as per an agreement, the corporation and Wadia's, who run the hospital, were to pay equally for running and maintenance of the hospital. However, since 2005-06 the civic body had stopped providing funds and hence the hospital was almost in a dilapidated condition and so children were being treated in a nearby premises.
The PIL was filed by rights activist Kamayani Mahabal, and it has alleged that the respondents had not taken any steps to take up the renovation work so far.
BMC, in its reply to a Right to Information Act query in August 2011, had confirmed that no permission had been sought to operate the hospital from the present location.
According to the petition, on May 15, 2009 the acting dean of the hospital issued a circular stating that on account of renovation (that was to start) services were being shifted to the maternity hospital in the next compound with immediate effect. The hospital has 34 paramedical, 123 medical and around 120 menial staff.
Mahabal's petition states that the hospital, being run exclusively for children, had lakhs of children being brought in and many being treated as indoor patients. According to her, two hospitals functioning from one premises is causing severe hardships and inconvenience to patients as it led to overcrowding.
The petition will come up for hearing next after eight weeks.