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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Delhi: AAP, BJP spar over North MCD’s proposal on vacant buildings

The proposal suggests that “vacant premises can be used to provide healthcare facilities to general public either free of cost or at reasonable cost.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: September 6, 2021 7:16:31 am
This will first be considered for two under-utilised buildings of the Health Department — the Qutubgarh Dispensary Complex and the Jhandewalan Chest Clinic premises.

A resolution recently passed by the North MCD standing committee to provide free licences to NGOs or charitable trusts to operate healthcare facilities from the civic body’s vacant properties has turned into a spat between the AAP and BJP.

The proposal suggests that “vacant premises can be used to provide healthcare facilities to general public either free of cost or at reasonable cost. The (civic body) shall provide vacant building or land on licence without any consideration/licence fee; buildings and land would be given to NGOs without charging a fee.”

This will first be considered for two under-utilised buildings of the Health Department — the Qutubgarh Dispensary Complex and the Jhandewalan Chest Clinic premises. The proposal lists a set of medical services that the organisation must provide either for free or at reasonable cost. It further states that the land and building of the North MCD shall be handed over to the licensee for 15 years, though the ownership of the building or land will remain with the civic body.

Hitting out at the proposal, AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj alleged that the BJP-ruled North MCD has decided to give away land worth thousands of crores to private clinics and its own people free of cost: “The standing committee passed a resolution to this effect on September 1. The MCD’s proposal was to give vacant buildings and unused land for use without charging any licence fee. Dispensaries, medical centres, maternity centres and chest clinics under the MCDs account for assets worth several thousands of crores,” he said.

Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor has termed the allegations baseless: “For decades, dozens of charitable organisations have been working out of MCD-provided premises. Most cremation grounds are owned by MCDs but maintained by charitable NGOs,” he said.

The AAP was trying to malign a good scheme with its political vendetta, he added.

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