Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday stayed a decision of Maharashtra Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad to hand over 100 flats in MHADA buildings to the Parel-based Tata Memorial Hospital to accommodate patients and their relatives as well as caretakers.
According to a report by Loksatta, CM Uddhav Thackeray has also directed the Principal Secretary, Housing Department to submit a report in this regard.
The decision was taken after Shiv Sena MLA from Sewri Ajay Chaudhary wrote to CM Uddhav Thackeray and said that amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the residents of those two Mhada buildings feared for their health if cancer patients and their relatives moved in.
Chaudhary, who is an MLA from Sewri in Mumbai, in the letter said that 700 Maharashtrian families stay in the vicinity objected to the disturbance created by outsiders arriving there on a temporary basis.
He further said that MHADA's decision to provide 100 flats to the relatives of cancer patients has created an atmosphere of fear among the residents. Citing these reasons, Chaudhary in the letter demanded immediate postponement of the decision, and instead, the cancer patients and relatives must be given all 100 flats in an MHADA building in Bhoiwada, near the hospital.
Shiv Sena MLA Ajay Chaudhary told reporters that the decision to stay the transfer order was taken after he complained to the CM Uddhav Thackeray about objections to it from local residents.
The decision to allot flats for temporary accommodation in different buildings where people are already staying was not acceptable to locals, he said.
"We have no objection to tenements in transit camps being given to the hospital. There are MHADA tenements in the Bandra-Kurla Complex. One entire building can be given to the hospital, but not where locals are residing," he said.
Chaudhary also said his wife succumbed to cancer four years ago, and he set up a trust in her name with his own money and is helping the needy cancer patients to get medical treatment.
The Tata Memorial Hospital receives patients from all over the country. The patients are usually accompanied by relatives. To avoid any inconvenience, Jitendra Awhad in May 2021 had announced that the state-run Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) will hand over 100 flats to Tata Hospitals to accommodate cancer patients and their family members. Recently, the keys of the flats were handed over to the hospital authorities in May by NCP president Sharad Pawar, whose party shares power with the Shiv Sena and Congress in the state.
(With inputs from Agencies)