This week the controversial sale of section of NMMC Hospital by Hiranandani to Fortis came up for discussions at the Standing Committee. Chairman Sandeep Naik has instructed the administration to ensure that the name Fortis is replaced by NMMC at the Super Specialty Hospital at Vashi. This weekend, our exclusive brings to you how a poor man’s hospital has been sold for commercial exploitation. Let’s track the issue from the day the proposal was placed first in the NMMC Standing Committee meet. JULY 2005 The proposal for sanctioning the use of 1, 20, 000 sq. ft. space in the NMMC Hospital for a Super Specialty Hospital to the Hiranandani Health Care Pvt. Ltd for 52 years at 10% the prevailing market lease rate was placed at the Standing Committee. The issue again surfaced during this week’s Standing Committee Meet.This week Standing Committee Chairman Sandeep Naik has instructed the administration to remove Fortis from the name of the Super Spatiality Hospital and replace it with NMMC. The NMMC Commissioner himself voiced reservation about the sale of equity by Hiranandani to Fortis.The Hiranandani-Fortis hospital definitely is a mockery of the poor. Where on one side, patients beg for service at the municipal hospital, the Fortis Hospital undoubtedly has been made but for the rich. Throughout the last two years, majority of the ruling and opposition factions in NMMC have been opposing this tie. In fact even the common public believes that the tie up is in no way going to benefit the poor. And if things proceed like they are doing right now, the poor man’s hospital will become a commercial venture between the Hiranandanis and Fortis. It is indeed unfortunate and shame for the city that the custodian and representative of the people have failed miserably to safeguard the interest of the poor man. And for their self interest, the public representatives have fallen prey to rich and influential businessmen. And the standing committee meeting to be convened within 10 days on the issue is the last chance of the corporators to avoid one of the biggest civic blunders in Navi Mumbai’s history. AUGUST 2005 NCP corporator Sneha Palkar’s husband was shifted from NMMC hospital to the Hiranandani Hospital in Powai. He had to pay Rs. 3 Lakhs for Angio-plasty. The corporator confessed in the NMMC general body that the charges were exorbitant and in any other good super specialty hospital, charges would have been much less. JANUARY 2005 Probably the most dreaded blunder of civic medical services happened when the agreement was signed between the Hiranandani management and NMMC administration in the Commissioner’s chambers on January 2006. According to the agreement, Hiranandani pays approx. Rs. 4 per sq. ft. For a premium property, the NMMC treasury will loose loosing over Rs. 50 Crore in 25 years and if added rent interest is calculated, over Rs. 100 Crores. JANUARY 2005 Later in the same month on Republic Day, a grand ceremony marked the official public private partnership of NMMC Hospital at Vashi and Hiranandani Health Care Pvt. Ltd. The ceremony saw the presence of a cluster of dignitaries, which included Guardian Minister Ganesh Naik, Commissioner Madhukar Kokate, Padmabhushan Dr. L H Hiranandani and renowned developer Niranjan Hiranandani. JUNE 2006 Standing Committee Members created uproar when the opposition’s demand to stop work of the Super Specialty Hospital of Hiranandani was not heard. The members had been pressing demand that the then Town Planning Office Rajendra Habde produce the copy of the Commencement Certificate of the said construction by Hiranandani. But the Town Planning Office has failed to submit the same inspite of the members demanding it since the last 3 weeks JUNE 2006 NMTV exposed how, the administration had literally sold off more than 50% of the people’s hospital to Hiranandani’s in the following ratio : 20,935.98 – Ground Floor 17,892.89 – First Floor 40,83.22 – Second floor 93,51.33 – Third Floor 33,802.19 – Fourth Floor 33,802.19 – Fifth Floor Hence, Hiranandanis Health Care Pvt Ltd. has been allotted 1,19,867 sq ft space as follows in the said building JUNE 2006 During his visit to Navi Mumbai as inspection officer for Sant Gadge Baba Urban Cleanliness Drive, Vishwas Dhumal had voiced disapproval when he was informed about the NMMC-Hiranandani Tie Up. JULY 2006 Mayhem in Standing Committee continued as members kept demanding to see the details of the agreement between NMMC and Hirananadani. The former TPO Habde who failed to reply on the subject for over three weeks was abruptly transferred. The Municipal Administration inability to reply to the allegations confirms the suspicion of foul play, violation of building permission rules and connivance of Municipal official with Hiranandani. DECEMBER 2006 The NMMC standing committee rejected most of the eligibility criterion drafted by the municipal administration for admitting patients to the Hiranandani Super Specialty Hospital under the 10% reserved quota for patients referred from NMMC hospitals, and called for a revised proposal without the rejected conditions. Dr. Pattiwar brought clauses like patients should come with their income proof and residence proof when they are admitted at the super specialty hospital. That Dr. Pattiwar expected poor and needy section of the society to have such proofs compelled one to believe that NMMC is not a rich municipal corporation but a corporation for the rich. In this meet the then Standing Committee Chairman Vijay Chougule had blasted Dr. Pattiwar and alleged that he was advocating the interests of Hiranandani by making it difficult for needy patients in the city to avail the 10% free occupancy through referrals from NMMC. MAY 2007 Later that month former Dy. Mayor Bharat Nakhate took up the matter of the eye operation theatre. It was closed due to the gas leakage when construction activities for Hiranandani Super Specialty Hospital cut the pipes. MARCH 2007 It was in March 2007 that the grand sale of NMMC Hospital by the Hiranandanis to Fortis a USA based health care group was first exposed in the Standing Committee. Members alleged that Dr. Sanjay Pattiwar was playing agent in the whole deal. MARCH 2007 The NMMC administration continued to ignore the request of giving a copy of the agreement to the Standing Committee members. APRIL 2007 Members demanded that a proposal to cancel the controversial Hiranandani Super Specialty Hospital and NMMC tie up be brought to the Standing Committee. APRIL 2007 At last the proposal for the cancellation of the NMMC Hiranandani Tie Up was brought to the Standing Committee and unanimously approved by the opposition and ruling front. JUNE 2007 But the matter continued to be raised in later standing committee meets. This after Sandeep Naik took charge as Standing Committee Chairman, allegations of neglect by NMMC Health Dept. continued. Members alleged that it was a conspiracy of Dr. Pattiwar to sell of the balance part of the hospital to Fortis Hiranandani. JULY 2007 The Standing Committee presided by Chairman Sandip Naik served 7-day show cause notice to Hiranandani for selling 100% of equity in NMMC Super Specialty Hospital to Fortis without disclosing the same to NMMC.