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Skywalk for patients, restoration of heritage buildings on the cards for Sassoon Hospital

Renowned architect Christopher Benninger has designed the master plan for the state-run Sassoon Hospital.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
Updated: September 14, 2021 7:35:41 am
Earlier this year, a Rs-700 crore plan with regard to the hospital was submitted to the state government.

Sassoon Government Hospital – the largest in Maharashtra – is set to get a skywalk, which is expected to aid the movement of patients between different buildings on the campus. Authorities said another project to restore heritage buildings on the premises of the hospital, which was set up in the 19th century, has also got the go-ahead from the state government. Official sources they were hoping that work on the plan, including the process of inviting tenders, would begin soon.

When contacted, S Chockalingam, administrator at Sassoon General Hospital, told The Indian Express that the skywalk will connect some of the main, older buildings on the campus to the 11 multi-storeyed structures set up in recent years.

“This will enable easy movement for patients on the stretcher,” Chockalingam said.

Dr Murlidhar Tambe, Dean, B J Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital, said the proposal for a patient corridor via a skywalk has been approved. According to the state notification issued in July, Rs 4.22 crore has been sanctioned for the project.

The B J Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital campus is spread over around 10 buildings, in 43 acre of area. The hospital has often faced issues related to delay in shifting patients from the casualty ward to other buildings with many having to wait for a while before the ambulance transfer the stretcher from one building to another. In the case of dead bodies too, there is a waiting time for the hearse van to transport the corpses to the mortuary.

These issues were brought up when authorities at Sassoon Hospital submitted a proposal for the skywalk, which was agreed upon by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.

According to Chockalingam, the “ease of doing things” is important; adding the main aim for the proposed skywalk was to function as a patient corridor.

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Earlier this year, a Rs-700 crore plan with regard to the hospital was submitted to the state government. Deputy CM Pawar agreed to initially allocate Rs 100 crore for phase-wise implementation of the plan, beginning with the construction of hostels for postgraduate doctors and nurses.

Renowned architect Christopher Benninger has designed the master plan for the state-run Sassoon Hospital.

The latest project is also significant as plans have been made for developing the hospital as an investment in health sector, which includes increasing the capacity by another 1,000 beds.

Authorities are hoping for a speedy administrative approval process regarding the same.
Experts at the College of Engineering Pune (CoEP) had submitted the design for the proposed skywalk as well as restoration of heritage buildings sometime back.

“The aim is to ensure hassle-free movement of patients from one ward in a building to another, without waiting for an ambulance or any other vehicle,” Bhalchandra Birajdar, Professor, CoEP, said. The skywalk has been planned and designed to match the heritage Sassoon campus which has structures such as the David Sassoon Hospital building (built in 1869) as well as the Jacob Sassoon Hospital building (built in 1905).

Earlier, Birajdar along with several other experts were involved in the restoration and renovation of the heritage building at CoEP. “This was a unique effort that aimed at serving as a trendsetter for others to emulate and ensure that we preserve our heritage and culture,” he said.

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