Kochi

Thrikkakara municipality has no right to claim rent for land, says cooperative hospital authorities

The Thrikkakara Municipal Cooperative Hospital authorities have said that the Thrikkakara municipality had no right to claim rent for the land that it had used to launch the hospital facilities more than two decades ago. The premises where the hospital originally operated out of is now being used by the cooperative society to run a Neethi medical store, an ophthalmology department, and an Ayurvedic treatment centre.

P. Sukumaran Nair, president of the cooperative society, said the land did not belong to the municipality. It was a piece of revenue land and owned by the government, he said, adding that the municipality had no ownership of the land and thus no claim to any rent. Information on the status of the land was obtained by the cooperative society through an RTI application after the municipal authorities had demanded rent for the use of the land in 2014.

The municipal authorities claimed that the land belonged to the civic body and that the cooperative society was renting out the space, a claim denied by the hospital authorities. The municipality had demanded payment of total rent arrears of more than ₹31 lakh.

Municipality chairperson Ajitha Thankappan said the finance standing committee of the municipal council had taken up the issue and a notice had been served on the cooperative hospital.

A.A. Ibrahimkutty of the finance standing committee said the land belonged to the municipality and there were complaints against the cooperative society using the land commercially. He claimed the cooperative society had rented out the space.

Mr. Nair said the land claimed by the municipal authorities was government land, which was used by the health department to run a dispensary. The land for launching a cooperative hospital was identified in 1999 under the People’s Plan campaign. The hospital was shifted out of the old premises to the new premises on Seaport-Airport Road. The allegation is that the old compound belongs to the municipality.

The cooperative hospital had about 30 permanent doctors and 18 specialty departments and offered affordable healthcare, said Mr. Nair. The out-patient department footfall was around 350 to 400 daily, while the pre-pandemic level was about 600 per day, he added. He also claimed that the hospital had not been given any financial support by the municipality.


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Printable version | May 20, 2022 5:34:18 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/thrikkakara-municipality-has-no-right-to-claim-rent-for-land-says-cooperative-hospital-authorities/article37998104.ece