'Revamped' Cooper Hospital in Vile Parle is in a mess
Appalling scenes of choked toilets, dried taps, non-functional drainage systems just a month after the BMC inaugurated the facility
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation seems to have lived up to its reputation of not maintaining its hospitals. The newly refurbished and recently inaugurated RN Cooper Hospital at Vile Parle (West), too, has met with the same fate.
The construction of the six-storey building began in December 2009, and was scheduled to be completed in November 2012. However, the builder failed to meet the deadline, which was extended by another six months.
The BMC had even fined the builder Rs 1.53 crore (‘Cooper Hospital contractor fined Rs 1.53 crore for 153-day delay’, November 30, MiD DAY), of which the civic body has recovered Rs 44 lakh till now. In all, authorities have spent Rs 321.63 crore on the project.
Yet, the hospital premises are in a ghastly condition and its very sight disgusts passers-by. Toilets are choked up, taps have no water, flushes are not operational; paan stains adorn the walls of bathrooms. Some loos are in such a bad condition that their pictures cannot be printed.
The hospital was inaugurated by Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on November 30, but the dust from the ongoing construction work is affecting the health of patients. Patients and their relatives are shocked at the plight of the building.
Madhusudan Sadadekar, who had gone yesterday to visit a relative at the facility, said, “I had expected the hospital to be good. But try taking the lift from the rear gate to go up. It’s difficult to even breathe! The nearby toilet is in a pathetic condition and there’s waterlogging all around. The men’s toilet on the sixth floor is in a horrible state. If this is the state within two months of inauguration, I wonder what will happen next year. BMC should seriously take a note of the issue.”
Ravindra Chile, who had gone to the hospital on Friday, recalled, “I wanted to use the ground floor washroom. But it was in such a bad state — no water, non-functional flush and so on. The old Cooper is in a much better state than this.”
Dr Shashikant Wadekar, medical superintendent at the hospital, said, “We undertake regular rounds at the hospital and I did not come across any such issue. I will check with other doctors on duty and will get it corrected soon. There are meetings held regularly to look into the workings of the hospital, and maintenance will be looked after properly. All work should be completed within a few days’ time.”
Laxman Vhatkar, director in-charge of BMC, who is also the chief engineer of the Storm Water Drains department, said, “The drainage lines are connected and are very much operational. This might have happened because the underground pumps that are placed to throw the drainage out may not be working. I will get the problem resolved soon.”
53,607sq m Total built-up area
1,303 The number of staff members --medical, paramedical, nursing, labour and administrative -- sanctioned for the 6-storey hospital building
The overhauled Cooper Hospital
The Rs 321.63-crore RN Cooper Hospital redevelopment project involves construction of a six-storey building with 636 beds, 21 operation theatres, laboratories, blood bank, ICU, maternity ward, paediatric department, burns ward, ENT ward along with various other departments. The hospital will cater to 8-9 lakh residents of the western suburbs, as per the BMC.