ESIC fire: MNS demands action against NBCC for giving contract to blacklisted company
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) on Wednesday demanded that the management of a Delhi headquartered Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) National Building Construction Corporation Limited (NBCC) should be booked for culpable homicide in connection with a fire at the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) hospital in Mumbai which claimed 11 lives on December 17, 2018.
In December, a massive fire swept through a government hospital in Mumbai killing 17 people and leaving more than 100 patients and visitors injured. A total of 147 people, including patients and visitors, were rescued after the fire broke out at the ESIC Kamgar Hospital at Marol in suburban Andheri.
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In a letter to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Andheri MNS head Rohan Sawant argued that the NBCC was responsible for negligence that led to the fire. "The NBCC had taken over the hospital in 2008 for its reconstruction. The work is still incomplete," he stated.
Sawant alleged that the NBCC has given a sub-contract of the hospital's construction to Supreme Infrastructure India Limited, blacklisted by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in 2017 for its alleged shoddy work in road construction.
"There should be a thorough inquiry into why the blacklisted company was awarded the sub contract. The state government should withdraw all the works assigned to NBCC and blacklist it with an immediate effect. The state should also write to the Union government demanding withdrawal of Navratna status to NBCC," Sawant stated in the letter.
NBCC is engaged in designing and construction of public buildings. It was given a Navratna status, meant for prominent PSUs, in the tenure of Union Minister for Heavy Industries Anant Geete, a veteran Shiv Sena leader. Geete was unavailable for comment.
The state government has appointed a committee under Chief Secretary DK Jain to conduct an inquiry into the alleged irregulations at the ESIC hospital. The committee will investigate whether the hospital had requisite permissions and fire safety measures.