Agarwal hospital redevelopment plan: 9th bid proves the charm

Mumbai: The only civic hospital ,the MT Agarwal Hospital, serving the poor and the disadvantaged who live between Mulund and Kanjur Marg has been closed for more than a year now. The building is in a dilapidated state and crying for redevelopment. However, the building will be redeveloped shortly as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has given a green signal.

The corporation had allocated Rs 340 crore for the redevelopment of the Agarwal Hospital, but for the ninth time in a row, the tender which should have been called by now, has been delayed.  Sources say developers have demanded Rs 680 crore for the project. The tender for this project seems to be jinxed, with the health committee having called it eight times and no date in sight for the next tender to be tabled.

The BMC has been blaming the builders for demanding twice the amount of the sanctioned budget for the renovation of the hospital. The new hospital was supposed to have 450 beds and offer multi-specialty services. Four years ago, the BMC had allocated Rs 299 crore for the purpose but due to the delay in sanctioning tenders, the amount had to be increased to Rs 340 crore.  According to a doctor in the hospital said the Rs 340 crore that has been sanctioned is not sufficient for the project. BMC sources suggest the possibility of the tender amount being increased soon.

Residents have to now go as far as Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar, or farther still, to the Lokmanya Tilak General Hospital (Sion hospital), for treatment, which is very inconvenient“We have to go to Sion and Ghatkopar for our treatment which is inconvenient and expensive too. Some people go to the Swatantraveer Savarkar civic hospital in Mulund (E), but this hospital does not have facilities to treat serious and complex diseases. Agarwal Hospital should be upgraded to help us,” said a local resident.A doctor at the hospital said the work would begin soon but no time-frame had been specified.

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