COVID-19 Pune: August 24 is the new deadline for jumbo hospital at COEP college ground, say administration officials

COVID-19 Pune: August 24 is the new deadline for jumbo hospital at COEP college ground, say administration officials

Pune: The construction of jumbo hospital has been delayed by more than 100 hours and the district and civic administration officials have now set up a new deadline of August 24 for commencing operations at this facility. This was revealed after Member of Parliament (MP) Girish Bapat landed up at the site with his team of MLAs from Pune and threatened to protest against the delay.

Previously, Pune Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao had on August 17 blamed 'Act of God' for slowing down the construction and other work of jumbo hospital facilities in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad cities. Rao had then said the rains have played havoc in the last couple of days due to which the hospital facilities functioning will be delayed by at least 24 to 36 hours.

Bapat said, "Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar had announced that this jumbo COVID hospital would start on August 19. We don't want to oppose it for the sake of opposing it, but now the administration has assured us that this hospital will be started from August 24."

MP Bapat had on Wednesday (August 19) warned of agitation against the delay in construction of jumbo hospital within the stipulated time. After the party MLAs came to the grounds of the COEP College, the officials requested them to have a discussion on the issue and postpone the agitation. MLA Mukta Tilak, Bhimrao Tapkir along with party workers Pushkar Tuljapurkar, etc Pune Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao, PMRDA Commissioner Suhas Divase were present on the occasion.

While addressing media persons after the meeting, Bapat said, "We came to see if this hospital has been started or not. We asked them why it was delayed. The city has been experiencing incessant rains for the past few days. Our demand is to make it available to the Punekars in time as directed by the government."

BJP State President Chandrakant Patil had raised the question of the need for a jumbo hospital. Commenting on this, Bapat said, "It is too late to set up a jumbo hospital in Pune, as the number of patients has decreased. It should be reduced even further. Now the administration has assured that it will be started on August 24th."

"It's been four months since the COVID-19 outbreak. If we had opposed the construction of the jumbo hospital, then we would have been criticised. We don't dispute the need for a jumbo hospital while battling COVID-19 crisis, but whoever came up with this idea was late in doing so. We will cooperate with the administration, as officials have now given us a new deadline for starting operations at this jumbo hospital," Bapat added.

Elected representatives have complained that there has been a delay in constructing a jumbo hospital facility. When asked about this, Pune Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao said, "I don't think so, because the percentage of COVID-19 affected patients is still 20 per cent. It should be reduced further. But I don't think it will come down immediately. The decision to build jumbo hospital has been taken after making full use of the capacity of public and private hospitals in the city."

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