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Pune: Rain hampers work, but officials hope ‘jumbo’ Covid facilities will be ready by Aug 19

The facilities will be operational for six months and are estimated to cost Rsv 90 crore each. The state government is bearing 50 per cent of the expenditure, and the rest will be borne by PMC, PCMC, the district collectorate and PMRDA.

Written by Ajay Jadhav | Pune |
Updated: August 15, 2020 12:33:02 pm
Coronavirus cases, hospital beds, private hospitals, Pune Divisional Commissioner, Pune news, indian express newsAccording to the Pune Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar, among active cases hospitalised in Pune, 4,400 are residents of the city while 2,100 were from outside. (Representational)

As the local administration races against time to set up a temporary ‘jumbo’ facility for Covid-19 patients, their efforts have been hampered by the relentless rain that has battered Pune in the last few days. Authorities, however, are still hopeful of starting the facility by August 19.

“The Work at the jumbo facility has been going on without a break, but the continuous rain this week has affected it. The soil at the designated site in College of Engineering Pune ground has become soggy and that’s causing problems… but we are hopeful of completing the work on time,” said Suhas Diwase, metropolitan commissioner of Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA).

The PMRDA has been entrusted with the responsibility of setting up three jumbo facilities, two in the jurisdiction of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and one in Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), which will have 800 beds each, including 600 oxygen beds and 200 ICU beds with ventilators.

The requisite administrative process for the three facilities is over and work has started at the CoEP ground in Pune, and Annasaheb Magar ground in Pimpri-Chinchwad. Work on the third facility, at AISSMS ground in Pune, has been put on hold for now, and will be carried out in the future should the need arise for it.

The jumbo facility at Annasaheb Magar ground will also be completed by August 19, said Diwase.

The facilities will be operational for six months and are estimated to cost Rsv 90 crore each. The state government is bearing 50 per cent of the expenditure, and the rest will be borne by PMC, PCMC, the district collectorate and PMRDA.

Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao admitted that rain had hit work on the facility, but said he was hopeful that it will become functional by August 19. “There is too much rain, but work on the jumbo facility is going on at a proper pace,” he said.

On plans for the third facility, Rao said, “We are not sure what the trend of critical patients will be. The situation in PMC is getting better due to decreasing number of active patients. We are not very confident about PCMC and rural parts of Pune. It is only after setting up the first two jumbo facilities that we will assess the situation and take a call on the third facility”.

The divisional commissioner said instead of a third ‘jumbo’ facility at one place, two facilities at two different sites may be set up. “Instead of a single site, the jumbo facility can be bifurcated to meet the situation. These places may be in peri-urban areas, based on the requirement. One can be in Chakan and the other in the eastern part of Pune district. It will take time to decide and the final call will be taken only after the first two become functional,” he said.

As Covid-19 cases have been rising in western Maharashtra, there are plans to set up ‘mini-jumbo’ facilities, with 300 oxygen beds and 100 ICU beds, in Satara, Sangli and Solapur, said Rao. All three districts are part of Pune Division. “The mini-jumbo facilities have been given in-principle approval by the state finance minister (Ajit Pawar),” said Rao.

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