Mumbai: With BMC having failed to commission Gokuldham maternity home in Goregaon East for the past few years, the building has become a den for prostitution, liquor parties and other illegal activities, according to the local corporator. BJP corporator Priti Satam from ward number 52 said, “Lot of illegal activities are taking place in the Gokuldham maternity home building but the BMC and local police have failed to stop them.”
“Despite the maternity home building being ready since four years, it is still lying empty, as the civic body has not been able to commission it. Taking advantage of the fact that there is no security, doors and windows have already been stolen by anti-social elements. I have received complaints from locals that goons hold liquor parties at night in the building. There are also reports of flesh trade being carried out,” she said.
A few years ago, the BMC demolished the old maternity home building and appointed a developer to redevelop the structure. After redevelopment, the developer handed over the building to the civic body. Ms Satam said, “The building is now in a pathetic condition due to negligence on the part of the BMC. Despite complaining to P south ward office and Dindoshi police station several times, no action has been taken so far to stop the illegal activities there.”
Meanwhile, civic officials claimed that the structure will soon be commissioned. Dr Padmaja Keskar, executive health officer, said, “We have planned to start a pediatric ward, which is also part of the maternity home, on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis. But the process was delayed as we were waiting for PPP guidelines to be finalised. Now that the municipal corporation has given its nod, tenders will be issued according to guidelines within three months.”
A week after Mid-day reported that a maternity home in Goregaon East, lying vacant for five years, is being used by anti-social elements for illegal activities, Women and Child Welfare Committee (WCWC) chief Sindhu Masurkar, civic officials and the police visited the hospital on Tuesday to take stock of the situation.
Executive Health Officer (EHO) Dr Padmaja Keskar, local ward officer Chanda Jadhav and BJP corporator Priti Satam accompanied Masurkar to the Gokuldham Maternity Home. Keskar claimed the hospital would be up and running in three months.
When our correspondent visited the three-storey building last week, beer bottles, drugs paraphernalia, empty condom packets and cigarettes were strewn everywhere. Speaking to mid-day, Satam, who had raised the issue with the WCWC, said, “Before their visit on Tuesday, some officials from the BMC suddenly arrived at the maternity home and cleaned the premises. But, the broken doors and windows were enough to prove that it become a miscreants’ den. EHO Keskar has promised to start the facility in three months.”
Satam had said last week that she had been pursuing the issue with the local ward and health department for four months, but to no avail.
A BMC official said, “We will speed up the process of starting the maternity home and appoint a contractor to run the hospital under the PPP scheme.”
Last week, EHO Keskar had said, “We are planning to develop the hospital under PPP. It was delayed because the PPP policy was being revised. We will issue tenders soon.”
SOURCE & CREDITS: MID-DAY