The Bombay High Court on Monday called for an independent report from the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay on the structural stability of Prince Aly Khan Hospital in Mazgaon.
A division bench of Justices RD Dhanuka and Kamal Khata directed the institute to depute a senior structural engineer to ascertain if the building is dilapidated and falls under the C1 category of dangerous buildings, and submit a report to the court within three weeks.
The HC was hearing a petition filed by the hospital seeking that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) be directed to act on a private structural audit report submitted by it (hospital) on August 9. The court, on September 12, asked the BMC to verify the correctness of the report. The civic body, however, said that it’s difficult to assess the condition of the building on visual inspection.
The hospital was allowed to shut the main building and conduct its Out-Patient Department (OPD) activities and non-surgical procedures in an ancillary building.
Anjali Purav, advocate for the recognised workers’ union from the hospital, argued that in 2014 the BMC had approved relocation of the hospital to a site across the road. The approval stated that unless the new hospital commences operations, the old building cannot be demolished.
Nearly 167 employees intervened in the petition and said they are not opposing redevelopment but the hospital must submit a phased programme, their advocate Himanshu Kode said.
However, the hospital’s counsel Rafiq Dada denied that it was associated with the other redevelopment. He said that according to the 2034 development plan, the site is marked for a school. He expressed apprehension about the hospital functioning out of the old building till the new one is constructed.
The court clarified that at present it will concentrate on determining whether the building is dilapidated. The HC has kept the matter for further hearing on November 10.