Struck by penury, the BJP-run North Municipal Corporation of Delhi (NMCD) is mulling handing over its medical assets to the central government.
In a proposal tabled by the NMCD Commissioner, Madhup Vyas, at its Standing Committee meeting on Wednesday, the corporation said it wants to surrender its five major hospitals and one medical college, on which it is incurring Rs 500-600 crore expenditure annually.
NMCD has cited a deficit of Rs 1,583 crore in its budget for financial year 2018-2019 and claims the Delhi government owes it Rs 2,600 crore as its legal share in taxes.
The hospitals named include: The multi-specialty Bara Hindu Rao Hospital in Malka Ganj and Balak Ram Hospital in Timarpur; Kasturba ‘maternity’ Hospital near Jama Masjid, the Rajan Babu Institute of Pulmonary Medicine and Tuberculosis (RBIMPT) in GTB Nagar, Girdhari Lal ‘maternity’ Hospital near Ajmeri Gate and Maharishi Valmiki Infectious Diseases (MVID) Hospital in Kingsway Camp. The major burden of healthcare facilities that existed with the erstwhile united MCD till 2012 – about 60 per cent – fell in the lap of North MCD after trifurcation.
Its Bara Hindu Rao Medical College started functioning in August 2013, but has been in dire financial circumstances. Tilak Raj Kataria, the standing committee chairman, NMCD, said, “The proposal was tabled, but postponed for consideration today. We have not gone into its details yet.” The letter written by the commissioner, Madhup Vyas, however, paints a sorry picture of the municipality’s monetary health.
It says, “As per the report of the Finance Department, the salary burden constitutes about 85 per cent of the total expenditure. It may be noted that the 7th Pay Commission was implemented in October 2016, so only six months’ salaries have been included in these estimates. Also, no arrears have been paid.”
“Due to huge running cost and salary not being paid in time, there is resentment among the staff that affects the functioning of the institutions. In last two years, [protests/strikes] have disrupted their working several times,” it adds.