- Issues including hike in treatment, deposit charges at SVP Hospital in Ahmedabad, alleged corruption in Jagatpur flyover were taken up by Congress
Ahmedabad: Tagore Hall, the venue of the general body meeting of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), witnessed huge ruckus on Friday, with members raising issues like increase in treatment and deposit charges at SVP Hospital as well as alleged corruption in construction of Jagatpur railway crossing overbridge, where the builder was accused of not paying his contribution of the total cost.
With the verbal exchange heating up, Congress corporators Kamla Chawla and Rajshri Kesri climbed onto the dais and started tearing papers.
Chawla, former leader of Opposition in AMC, had sought action against Siddhi group builder in the Jagatpur overbridge matter. At this point, someone from the Congress accused the ruling BJP of “taking supari” of citizens. This triggered massive protests from the BJP, followed by members of both parties coming face-to-face. Such was the commotion that the mayor had to call off the meeting.
‘SVP out of reach for poor, middle-class’
“The AMC administration has made it seem like SVP hospital is only for the rich. The AMC-MET has raised the charges and deposit at SVP to such a level that it is not affordable for the common people and only the VVIPs can take treatment there. This is a conspiracy to keep the poor away,” alleged Chawla.
“Recently, the deposit to be paid on admission to the hospital had been raised. Irrespective of the ailment, the treatment is not started until the patients pay a deposit of Rs 5,000 to Rs 20,000. The BJP rulers of AMC have closed the doors of SVP for the poor and the middle-class people. Not just this, the Ma Amrutam and Ma Vatsalya schemes of the state government have been stopped at SVP for past one-and-a-half years,” she added. She alleged that the 108 emergency services staff has been instructed not to take patients to SVP and send them to VS or Civil Hospital instead.
This comment invited objection from the BJP, but she snubbed them saying they could respond during their turn. There was some commotion over this and the meeting had to be suspended for some time.
‘Ruling party in AMC helped builder’
When the discussions were resumed, Chawla said that the AMC had announced a nomenclature policy wherein if any party was willing to bear a certain share of cost of construction of a road, community hall, flyover or any such project, they could give it a name of their choice.
“But the ruling party misused this policy to benefit a builder,” she said, citing media reports about the Jagatpur crossing flyover. Chawla alleged that there was no plan to build a flyover or underpass at Jagatpur crossing in 2017. “Several residential schemes were coming up in the area, including Godrej Garden City. People would not have been interested in purchasing property in this area. To ensure that their properties got sold, the builders used the AMC,” she alleged.
Someone from the Congress side commented that BJP had “taken supari” of Amdavadis. A ruckus ensued, and the women Congress corporators reached the dais and started tearing papers in protest. The mayor quickly approve the board’s works and called off the meeting.
Demand for police complaint against builder
The Congress corporators have sought a police complaint against the Siddhi group on the grounds of cheating. According to them, the builder had promised in 2017 to initially bear 50% of the cost of construction of flyover near Jagatpur crossing before bringing it down to 25%. However, he allegedly asked for his files to be cleared if AMC wanted the funds, as per media reports.
The Congress corporators are now demanding that a police complaint be registered against the builder, Mukesh Patel, for cheating, fraud and offering bribe.
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