Town planning authority MMRDA on Thursday said the temporary COVID-19 hospital at BKC was not built keeping in mind natural calamities like thunderstorm or cyclone but yet it weathered the cyclone Nisarga and can also pull through the monsoon.
The clarification from the authority comes at a time when senior BJP leaders have claimed that the makeshift COVID-19 hospital set up at MMRDA grounds has been severely damaged and is unsafe for patients.
Cyclone Nisarga, which made landfall in Alibaug on Maharashtra’s coast on June 3 passed through districts like Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Raigad and Pune, causing considerable damage to the power supply network, roads, houses and trees in these regions.
“The temporary COVID-19 hospital is designed considering the weather conditions of Mumbai and not keeping in mind natural calamities like thunderstorms or cyclones. And therefore, even we were sceptical about the sturdiness of the structure when we came to know about the cyclone. However, we immediately took necessary steps to further strengthen its base and there has been no damage to the hospital at all,” MMRDA commissioner RA Rajeev told reporters here.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Kirit Somaiya, in a letter to state chief secretary Ajoy Mehta, has sought a detailed inquiry into the construction of this project and demanded action on contractors, while claiming that there were leakages in the structure which posed safety threats to the patients and the medical staff deployed at the facility.
On June 3, BJP MLA Nitesh Rane had also tweeted videos allegedly showing damage caused to the makeshift hospital and had demanded a probe.
According to the MMRDA, on June 2, as a precautionary measure,”civic local body BMC had shifted more than 150 patients, who were taking treatment at the facility, to another location.
“Moving patients was only a precautionary measure. The structure is strong enough to bear wind speed of up to 80 km per hour. Since the speed was estimated higher than that, the decision was taken by the Corporation. Now that it has withstood the cyclone, the facility shall certainly pull through the monsoon season. The patients will start returning soon,” he added.
Rajeev further said that the work on the second phase of the hospital housing 1,000 beds is already under construction and will be completed soon.
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