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Legitimising illegal constructions through ‘impact fee’: Kin of deceased in Shrey fire tragedy writes to Gujarat CM

Shrey Hospital, where a fire broke out in the ICU early on August 6, 2020, ran unregulated as a health facility till 2016 and was largely permitted for residential and commercial use.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
August 8, 2021 12:36:48 am
The chargesheet filed in December 2020 stated that the fire started from electrical components and a table fan that malfunctioned in the ICU. (File Photo)

More than a year after a fire in Shrey Hospital in Ahmedabad killed eight patients, family members of the deceased wrote to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on August 5, opposing legitimising illegal and unregularised construction in hospitals, schools, colleges and tuition classes through payment of an “impact fee”.

Shrey Hospital, where a fire broke out in the ICU early on August 6, 2020, ran unregulated as a health facility till 2016 and was largely permitted for residential and commercial use. It started operations as a hospital in 1999 and illegal constructions were done that were regulated in 2016, under the Gujarat Regularisation of Unauthorised Development (Impact Fee for regularisation of illegal properties) Act (GRUDA), according to which any addition or alteration from the approved one in building use (BU) permit could be legalised via paying a fee called “impact fee”, on the basis of the area.

The chargesheet filed in December 2020 stated that the fire started from electrical components and a table fan that malfunctioned in the ICU. The criminal case against the hospital owner and managing director Bharat Mahant, and administrators Maheshbhai alias Malabhai Odedara and Babubhai Ahari is at the hearing stage before a magistrate court.

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