Maharashtra govt to build one primary healthcare centre for every slum rehabilitation project
BL Soni

Amidst the present COVID-19 crisis, the Maharashtra government has formally decided that primary healthcare centres (PHC) of 1,000 to 5,000 sq ft each will be developed in the upcoming slum rehabilitation projects in Mumbai. PHCs will be a crucial part of the slum rehabilitation development projects and it will be constructed by the builder and developer of the respective projects on a free floor space index basis.

There are about 600 slum rehabilitation projects lined up in the maximum city. In all these projects, PHCs will be developed.

Similarly, PHCs will be developed in all the development and redevelopment projects being carried out by the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA). Free Press Journal wrote about the government’s move in its May 13 edition.

Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad said that the present coronavirus crisis has been an eye opener, considering the density of population in cities like Mumbai. “There are constraints on the health infrastructure. Therefore, it has been decided to upgrade the infrastructure in all slum rehabilitation projects and the projects to be carried out by MHADA. The proposed PHCs in every such project will prove helpful for residents during such crisis or even in day to day life.’’ He said the residents can get the primary treatment in such PHCs, where doctors can advise further treatment.

Awhad said PHCs will be complemented by a laboratory and other health infrastructure in such projects. He informed that a committee headed by leading diabetologist and medical researcher Dr Shashank Joshi will suggest the nature of proposed PHCs and related health infrastructure.

Further, Awhad announced that, in all upcoming slum rehabilitation projects and MHADA projects, the balwadi (pre-primary school) will also be established. “Therefore, the government proposes to focus on health and education in these projects,’’ he noted.

Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Satish Lokhande said, " We are examining the proposal of having centres in SRA buildings. My team will check how we can execute it."

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