Mumbai

Decrepit Ulhasnagar ESIC Hospital to be demolished

Falling apart: Defunct ambulances parked in the backyard of ESIC Hospital in Ulhasnagar

Falling apart: Defunct ambulances parked in the backyard of ESIC Hospital in Ulhasnagar   | Photo Credit: Vibhav Birwatkar

Structural audit declares three-storey facility unfit; elevators, operation theatre non-functional; authorities say new building will be equipped with better facilities

With a structural audit of the Ulhasnagar ESIC Hospital in May declaring it to be unfit, the three-storey medical facility will soon be demolished to make way for a modern, fireproof building.

The hospital, located at Camp Number 3 in Ulhasnagar, was partly renovated after it was established in 1976. While the ground floor appears well-kept, the first and second floors are not in a good condition. A visit to the hospital revealed that fire extinguishers have been kept in a closed ward on the second floor for the past few years. The third floor is not in use owing to severe damage to the ceiling plaster. The hospital does not have an Intensive Care Unit and in case of emergencies, patients are shifted to other hospitals.

The interior walls of the operation theatre have peeled off due to dampness caused by the monsoon. The operation theatre has not been in use since 2011.

Plaster peeling off the ceiling.

Plaster peeling off the ceiling.   | Photo Credit: Vibhav Birwatkar

About 30 to 40 patients visit the hospital every day. The elevators have not been in use for several years and a damaged, elevated slope is used to shift patients. Harish Chavan, a staffer at the general ward of the hospital, said, “If we have to move a patient to the upper floors, we carry them on a stretcher from the elevated slope. The condition is terrible, but we have no option because the elevators are non-functional. We have asked our hospital authorities to renovate the place, but no one takes the matter seriously.”

Arvind Shinde, another staffer at the hospital, said, “The third floor has not been in use for several years and most of the wards were shifted to the lower floors.” Vinod Manere, a visitor, said he has not seen a single fire extinguisher or fire-fighting equipment on the hospital premises. “We cannot predict a fire, but to prevent incidents like the one at the Andheri hospital, extinguishers should be placed in each ward to ensure patients’ safety,” he said.

Hospital authorities said the building would be demolished to make way for a new structure with better facilities. Dr. Arun Chavan, medical superintendent, said, “After the structural audit, the building was declared unfit and demolition was proposed. First the staff quarters will be razed and then the hospital. This is the reason we do not have fire-fighting equipment on the premises. Most parts of the hospital were severely damaged so we have closed them and disconnected all electric wires to prevent fires.”

Dr. Chavan said all patients would be shifted to other hospitals and only the out-patient department will function. “We do not know when the demolition will begin. But we will ensure that the treatment of our patients is not affected,” he said.

Decrepit Ulhasnagar ESIC Hospital to be demolished

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 6:52:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/ulhasnagar-hospital-to-be-demolished/article25791842.ece

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