Talks about revamping the century-old Tehmulji Parsi Lying-in Hospital has led to sparks flying between the managing committee of the hospital and a section of the Parsi community.
The members of the managing committee had put forth a plan in March to turn the hospital into a 100-bed super-specialty orthopaedic centre, the first of its kind in the city.
However, some members of the Bombay Parsi Punchayat (BPP) vehemently opposed the plan, fearing that handing over the revamp project to a non-Parsi firm will result in cutting a cheap deal.
“Auctioning the hospital will fetch us around Rs 100 crore, but as per the clauses in the contract the hospital will be leased out only for a couple of crores, which is ridiculous considering its prime location,” said Dinshaw Mehta, chairman of the BPP, the lease holder of the hospital.
“The project was discussed by the managing committee in March, but we were informed only in September when they asked us for a verification. Instead of handing it over to a private firm, we should talk about how it can be developed for the Parsi community. There are many complexities that need to be looked into and the matter is yet to be discussed at the BPP board meeting,” said Mehta.
Minoo Shroff, member of the managing committee, denied any clash of interests. “The plan to revamp the hospital is still in a tentative stage and no one has been approached yet. There is no difference of opinion between the BPP and the hospital authorities. Ultimately, the BPP has the final say,” he said.
However, Dr Prakash Khubchandani, managing director of the Khubchandani Hospitals Private Ltd, admitted that they have been roped in for the project.
“We approached the hospital authorities with our proposal and they agreed. The hospital’s lease period expired in 1992 and the onus of renewing it is on us before we can go ahead with any work,” he said.