Updated: March 27, 2021 10:04:07 am
Overlooking all violations at Dreams Mall in Bhandup west, and citing “exceptional circumstances” due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) issued a provisional Occupational Certificate (OC) to Sunrise Hospital to operate as a COVID-19 care facility on the third floor of the mall.
A May 2020 proposal relating to grant of provisional OC for the hospital shows that the department decided to “delink”, that is not consider, nine violations of the mall due to which the hospital was not getting an OC to operate.
As per the document, under the ‘Revive Sunrise Hospital’ the BMC decided to not consider that the mall had not handed over the parking lot to BMC, had defaulted in payment of property tax dues, and not handed over a portion of the land for the development of a road as per plan. The mall was given the provisional OC offline on a physical copy of the building plan, though uploading of building plan online is mandatory. The permission to operate the hospital also overlooked FSI violations and some internal work in the hospital, illegal additions and alteration in existing shops.
Sunrise Hospital is owned by Dr Nikita Trehan, who was trying to seek permission to start the operations of the hospital in Dreams Mall since 2014. The mall was built by her father Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan, who is promoter of Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited (HDIL), and is facing an inquiry in PMC Bank scam.
The BMC had stalled the move to give clearance to the hospital in view of the irregularities in the mall. According to civic officials from the Building Proposal department, the three storeyed structure with several commercial shops was completed in 2008. In 2014, the FIR was lodged under Maharashtra Regional Town Planning (MRTP) Act against officials of HDIL for irregularities and illegal changes inside the mall and shops.
However, on April 23, 2020, architect Dilip Deshmukh on behalf of M/s Privilege Health Care Services Private Limited applied to the Building Proposal department, seeking occupational certificate for the existing hospital to treat Covid patients. Following this, on April 25, Dr Nikita Trehan made a representation to BMC. The proposal entailed delinking the hospital from the mall and treating its application for approval separately.
On April 27, 2020, setting aside all pending issues, BMC gave special permission to grant exclusive OC for the third floor, where the hospital structure was in existence since 2014. “In view of exceptional circumstance of COVID epidemic, all hospitals need to be mobilized. This will be kept especially for health & frontline workers,” the then BMC Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi wrote while clearing way for provisional OC for the hospital. All the permissions and procedures for OC were completed within 20 days.
“Approved as proposed by ChE(DP)The situation in Mumbai due to Covid Pandemic declared by the WHO and the NDMA is grave as due to shortage of hospital beds even open grounds at BKC and exhibition halls in Goregaon NESCO are being converted into Hospital beds. Hence a fully equipped hospital with oxygen supply and ICU facilities needs to be pressed into use urgently hence despite many legal problems caused by HDIL, the hospital management can be separated and delinked from HDIL project. Also as long as the Covid pandemic remains the hospital shall be devoted fully to Covid patients,” Pardeshi remarked.
While the temporary OC of the hospital is set to lapse soon, it had moved the BMC earlier this year for granting of a permanent OC.
“There are several violations in the mall. None of the issues are resolved today. Now, in October 2020, when COVID-19 cases were dipping, the hospital management has approached for a full time OC from the Building Proposal department. However, the application is still pending with Municipal Commissioner I S Chahal,” said an officer from the BMC.
Former Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi was not available for comment.
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