The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has been very kind to the contractor who did a shoddy job in constructing Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Hospital at Kandivali West. Even when the new construction started giving way within six months of its launch, civic authorities fined the contractor only Rs.10,000.
On May 6, a patient had a close shave when the roof of the x-ray department collapsed. The hospital authorities maintained that the incident was minor and that repairs will be taken up. dna, in its May 14 edition, had brought up this issue. "It is very important to book the contractor for the kind of work he has done. How can BMC allow him to go scot-free without taking any tough action? Simply imposing a fine of Rs10,000 will not amount to teaching a lesson to the contractor. BMC has spent Rs105crore for the hospital and the work done is not even close to Rs40-50crores. I had warned the authorities of inferior quality of the material being used, but they paid no need," said Ramashish Gupta, Congress corporator, who has been taking up the issue since the past two years.
Last Wednesday, a joint meeting of all the senior civic officials from different departments, including Building Construction Department, City Engineering department, Electrical and Maintenance, was called. Dr Mahendra Wadiwala, Chief Medical Superintendent of peripheral hospitals, was present at the meeting. Ramashish Gupta took the team for a round of the hospital and showed them the condition of the new hospital.
Among the slew of problems the dilapidated interiors comprise, include major cracks on walls, broken electrical switches, wires dangling, ceiling peeling and collapsing, toilets leaking, taps not installed, drinking water facilities not provided. In addition to these, the hospital also lacked basic staff and senior doctors. "The maintenance department has fined the contractor Rs10,000 for the roof collapse. The building construction department will conduct a structural audit of the hospital and due course of action will be decided later," Wadiwala said.