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NMMC exposed ! Accountant General says NMMC 10% reservation for the poor at Hiranandani Fortis is “meaningless”

The NMMC was trying with all its might to hide a report of the Accountant General of the State of Maharashtra on the Hiranandani Fortis hospital. However, courtesy the outburst of NCP Corporator Shivram Patil; the report has been exposed. It has come on record that the Accountant General has stated in its report that the NMMC’s decision to give the poor man’s hospital on rent at Rs. 4.25 per sq ft is wrong and that the medical services at Hiranandani Fortis is so expensive, that the poor cannot afford it, thus making the 10% reservation quota and concession meaningless. All fingers of blame are once again being pointed to Dr. Sanjay Pattiwar who had pioneered the controversial agreement of Hiranandani Fortis.

When the proposal of extending the lease period of a property taken on rent from a private party for running the Mahape Health Center of NMMC was tabled at the weekly Standing Committee, little did anyone know it would expose some of the dark secrets of the controversial NMMC Hiranandani Fortis Hospital. Dark secrets that have been kept under cover by NMMC for the last three years! But were exposed by NCP Corporator Shivram Patil. Lashing out at NMMC administration, his first point itself exposed the NMMC administration completely. He brought on record that the NMMC had received a query by the Accountant General of the State of Maharashtra on the Hiranandani Fortis hospital for less fixation of rent. He said that he supported the Thane Guardian Minister’s stance that Hiranandani Fortis should be thrown out from the NMMC hospital.

Shivram Patil put the figures of loss in clear words and said that if NMMC would have collected the rent according to market rates, then NMMC would be getting Rs. 2 Crore 88 lacs as against the Rs. 61 lacs per year. He said that the entire budget of NMMC Health Dept. is Rs. 3 Crore so if the corporation would have collected the right rent then free medicines could have been distributed to the needy and poor from the same money. When Standing Committee Chairman Ramesh Shinde failed to take the administration to task on this public interest issue, Shivram Patil lost his cool on the Chairman and said that if he is not given a reply by the administration, he will not let the meeting proceed.

He even taunted the NMMC for the nominal rent being collected by Hiranandani Fortis and said whether Fortis was the son-in-law of NMMC that he was getting this bias treatment. Even Dy. Municipal Commissioner Jagannath Sinnarkar did not have any answer to the questions raised by Shivram Patil, which again angered Shivram Patil. He stood up and demanded why the Accountant General’s report was not being shown to the corporators. When Standing Committee Chairman Ramesh Shinde still did not take cognizance of the seriousness of the issue, Shivram Patil hit out at him.

Shivram Patil said that the corporation should be ashamed of public money being wasted in the NMMC – Hiranandani Fortis tie up. He threatened that he wants the answer on the AG’s report in the next meeting. The most shocking expose in Shivram Patil’s outburst is the Accountant General’s report. The AG Mumbai in its report; three years ago had stated that the NMMC has faced loss due to less fixation of lease rent and non utilization of Super Specialty Hospital. It has stated that neither the bed that should have been reserved under the 10% reservation for the poor were reserved at Fortis nor were the cost of medical services affordable for the poor. Thus making all the concession meaningless.

Speaking to NMTV, Shivram Patil added that NMMC has only faced loss in the tie up with Fortis. He said that even the AG report had exposed the dubious role of the NMMC in the tie up. Shivram Patil said that the he has appealed to the Thane Guardian Minister Ganesh Naik to throw out Fortis from the poor man’s hospital. Mayor Sagar Naik too sounded helpless over the Hiranandani Fortis subject. All he could say was that Fortis is NMMC’s mistake.

The NMMC Medical Officer Dr. Deepak Paropkari refused to speak to us. However, everyone knows that at the moment Dr. Deepak Paropkari is having to pay the price of the greedy and selfish acts of his predecessor Dr. Sanjay Pattiwar. It was Dr. Sanjay Pattiwar who had pioneered the agreement with Hiranandani Fortis. According to reliable sources in the administration, it was Dr. Sanjay Pattiwar who had illegally permitted Fortis to put up its name on the NMMC hospital. More graver allegations are that Dr. Sanjay Pattiwar illegally changed the clauses of the agreement done with Hiranandani Fortis. What the NMMC general body had approved in its first proposal was completely changed later by Dr. Sanjay Pattiwar without taking approval of the general body or the Commissioner of NMMC. Another allegation has brought NMMC’s Dy. Assessor and Collector of Property Taxes, Prakash Kulkarni under the scanner. According to sources Dr. Pattiwar had asked Prakash Kulkarni about what rent should be taken from Hiranandani Fortis at the time of agreement, who was not the right authority to give an advice on this. And Prakash Kulkarni too reverted to Dr. Pattiwar stating that Rs. 5.34 should be taken as rent. It is being said that just prior to his transfer when these facts came to the attention of former Commissioner Vijay Nahata, he wrote a letter to Dr. Sanjay Pattiwar stating that whatever Dr. Pattiwar had done was illegal, he has neglected his duty and he could face action for suppressing facts from his superiors. Now the NMMC is under pressure to reply to the query raised by the AG. Perhaps seeing the dubious role played by officials like Dr. Sanjay Pattiwar, even Thane Guardian Minister Ganesh Naik has blamed the NMMC officials for the faulty agreement with Hiranandani Fortis.

The NMMC Hiranandani Fortis issue that until today was only about injustice to the poor has now become murkier and ugly. The Accountant General’s report has endorsed NMTV reports on the controversial and corrupt tie-up of NMMC – Hiranandani Fortis. And most of the allegations of the corruption, blunders and scams in the deal revolve around NMMC Addtl Municipal Commissioner Dr. Sanjay Pattiwar who has scripted this agreement since Day 1 against the interest of needy and the poor, which has become a major embarrassment and matter of shame for NMMC. With Managing Editor Zeba Warsia, Sana Warsia for NMTV News.

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