The new six-storey Cooper Hospital building is ready, and will open its doors today. The administration has planned an inauguration by the hands of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. However, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is less than thrilled by the delay in the completion of work. In fact, the civic body has imposed a penalty of Rs 1 lakh a day on the contractor with a 153-day delay, that works out to a whopping Rs 1.53 crore.
The corporation has already collected Rs 44 lakh of this amount. On the other hand, the contractor, Unity Infraprojects Limited, has urged BMC to waive the remaining sum, as work has been completed. The civic body is yet to take a decision on the matter. The construction work commenced in December 2009, and was scheduled for completion in November 2012. But soon, the pace began to drag and the deadline was extended by six months till June 2013.
Meanwhile, BMC sent notices to the contractor, asking for the pending operations to be finished within the new time frame. When this did not happen, the corporation decided to charge a penalty of Rs 1 lakh for every day’s delay, starting from the last week of June. Manisha Mhaiskar, additional municipal commissioner and in-charge of health department, said that the hospital was now ready, and OPD services would begin from December 2.
“We have imposed a penalty on the contractor for the delay and have collected 40 per cent of the sum,” she said. BMC will now shift all patients from the old Cooper hospital building to the new one. “Though we have collected Rs 44 lakh as fine, the decision on the remaining amount would be made shortly,” said Prakash Kadam, city engineer of BMC.
Abhijeet Avarsekar, vice-chairman and managing director of Unity Infraprojects Limited, was not available for comment. Milind Joshi, coordinator of the firm, confirmed that the company had requested BMC to waive the outstanding levy. “We have done work on a war-footing in the last two months, and deployed about 1,000 workers yesterday to complete the job. We have finished the pending work by putting in all necessary efforts. So, the BMC should strike off the remaining fine amount, and also reimburse the 40 per cent we have already paid,” he told MiD DAY.
Rs 321.63 crore
Total cost of the project
53,607 sq m
Posts for personnel
Approximate number of people the hospital will cater to