April 2, 2021 12:03:55 am
Other than the illegal construction of shops in Dreams Mall at Bhandup west, the construction of Sunrise Hospital — which is located on the third floor of the mall — was also done illegally, violating Development Control Regulations (DCR).
No commencement certificate was taken before starting construction of the hospital, though this is a requirement under the DCR. Moreover, the height of the floor was lower than the mandatory 3.6 metres as per DCR norms for a hospital building.
Mumbai Fire Brigade officials had issued a fire safety compliance certificate for the hospital that cleared its way for operation. BMC documents show that the fire safety compliance certificate was granted on July 22, 2020 from Divisional Fire Officer K V D’Souza and Deputy Chief Fire Officer V N Panigrahi. However, officials from the fire brigade said the no-objection certificate was granted only from the fire safety point of view and this was not an endorsement of the illegal construction.
The hospital had also done illegal construction of lifts and staircase by removing an escalator from the south-east portion of the mall. Earlier, the BMC had asked HDIL as well as Privilege Healthcare Service Private Limited to restore the escalator, taking note of complaints from shop owners from the mall.
“During construction of the hospital, which started in 2011, one escalator from the mall was removed for constructing a dedicated lift and staircase for the hospital as it was not in the originally approved plan of the mall,” said an official from the BMC.
Along with this, BMC documents show that the construction of the hospital was also in violation of DCR norms. “As per the DCR, the minimum height for a hospital building should be 3.6 metres but in Sunrise Hospital it was 3 metres, and at some places it was 2.7 metres,” said a BMC official. This could pose a safety risk in case of emergency, added the officials.
The construction of Sunrise Hospital was carried out illegally without the mandatory commencement certificate for the work. During construction and after completion of work, the BMC had sent several letters to HDIL and Privilege Healthcare Services Private Limited asking them to apply for regularisation of unauthorised work of the hospital.
According to BMC documents, on July 13, 2009, full CC was granted for the three-storey Dreams Mall with office and commercial use. However, on March 3, 2011, the amendment in the original plan to change the third floor from commercial office space to maternity home and general hospital was approved from the then municipal commissioner after HDIL’s application. Subsequently, construction of the hospital started and was completed in January 2014.
A fire broke out in Dreams Mall last week, killing 11 patients from Sunrise Hospital. While Dreams Mall, owned by real estate developer HDIL, had several illegalities, a provisional occupation certificate was granted to Sunrise Hospital by delinking all the issues in May 2020, citing COVID-19 as ‘exceptional circumstances’.
“The work of the hospital portion is carried out without endorsement of CC. So this u/a (Unauthorized) work need to be regularized by consuming any additional FSI (Floor Space Index) if any, by duly obtaining permission for the same and by charging penalty towards regularization,” reads one of the conditions of provisional OC granted to the hospital. For this, the civic body had asked Dr Nikita Trehan of Sunrise Hospital to comply with the conditions in stipulated time.
A senior BMC official said, “The plan for the hospital was approved but no commencement certificate was issued.”
It was necessary to have a CC for the hospital portion as there was a change in the original plan. BMC officials said that, as per DCR, no construction or alteration in any building can be initiated without first obtaining a separate development permission and commencement certificate from the BMC.
A detailed plan of proposed construction work should be submitted to the BMC’s building proposal department. Once it is approved, then construction of building can be started.
“After completion of construction, BMC officials visit the site and check if it has been completed as per the approved plans. If everything is found as per the plan, then in the final step occupancy certificate (OC) is issued,” said an engineer from Development Plan department.
Earlier, in a statement, Sunrise Hospital had said, “The Dreams Mall is managed by Rahul Sahashrabuddhe since 2017 by NCLT court order. The court-appointed administrator Mr Rahul to run the mall and there is no Dreams Mall management company or anyone else running it. All the operations at the mall and the licences of the mall are the responsibility of the court-appointed administrator. All the hospital permissions and licences were taken and are in order and have nothing to do with the mall compliances.”
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