Mumbai: After a fire broke out at the Sunrise Hospital in Bhandup late on Thursday, claiming 11 lives, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took aim at the ruling Shiv Sena in the BMC.
Calling a press conference hours after the fire was reported, senior BJP corporator and group leader of the party in the civic body Prabhakar Shinde said the Mumbai Fire Brigade had not issued a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) to the hospital and as per the rules of the BMC, a medical infrastructure cannot commence operation without an NOC.
“The hospital was set up without following the safety protocols, no rules were followed by the hospital management and a case of homicide should be filed against them,” said Shinde.
He added that local BJP corporators had raised this issue multiple times, but the BMC administration turned a deaf ear.
“The hospital didn’t fulfil the criteria, so its permission was rejected multiple times. But in the lockdown, the number of Covid cases rose drastically and the management took advanatage of this situation and procured a partial occupation certificate (OC) from the BMC,” said Shinde.
Sakshi Dalvi, BJP corporator from Bhandup said she had earlier written to the municipal body pointing out the irregularities at the hospital.
“The hospital was set up inside a mall and no safety precautions were followed and there were no fire exits either,” Dalvi told the FPJ.
“The hospital has been there for the past few years but it didn’t get permission to operate until the pandemic broke out last year,” Dalvi said. The corporator also pointed out that despite writing to the civic administration, she received no reply to her queries.
Meanwhile, senior officials of the civic administration admitted that the hospital was given partial Occupation Certificate (OC) for operating last year.
“The OC was issued on an emergency basis, as we needed more hospital beds at hand as Covid-19 cases were rising in this part of the city. It was a temporary letter and the deadline was expiring on March 31,” said a senior BMC official.
“We had earlier received complaints from multiple public representatives and had initiated an enquiry but we hadn’t found any discrepancy back then,” the official added.