The public health department of Maharashtra state government has sanctioned Rs131 crore towards modernisation and upgradation of the Yerawada regional mental hospital. Additional secretary Deepak Kendre in an order issued on Wednesday stated that the requisite permission has been granted for the project.
A proposal for the reconstruction of old buildings housing male and female inmates was submitted before the state government a year ago and the work will be carried out as per revised rates for the fiscal 2021-2022, the government resolution (GR) stated.
Four buildings will be constructed on an area spanning 30,509 square kilometre. Three standalone buildings will house around 1,000 inmates and about 740 female inmates will be housed in two other buildings slated to be constructed as per the new development plan. The state government has also put some restrictions in terms of building completion and safety that need to be followed.
Yerawada regional mental hospital superintendent Dr Lata Pandhare said, “The old buildings in the campus belong to the British era and have grown old and dilapidated. The drainage lines have grown old and are leaking and need repairs. The power lines are also an issue before the administration. The reconstruction and modernisation of the hospital will ensure better upkeep and care of the hospital inmates.”
Yerawada regional mental hospital located in the Yerawada area of Pune is one of the largest mental hospitals in Asia. The Maharashtra government has sanctioned ₹1,500 crore for psychiatric hospitals in the state and ₹ 400 crore has been allocated for the Yerawada regional mental hospital. State health minister Rajesh Tope who visited the hospital had pledged funds totaling ₹400 crore towards its modernisation.
The government will also be recruiting specialist doctors and psychiatrists and filling Class 3 and 4 vacancies at the Yerawada regional mental hospital. Instructions have already been given to the district collector and municipal commissioner to immediately remove encroachments on the health department plots including the Yerawada regional mental hospital.
In April 2015, the Bombay High Court had suggested privatisation while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking improvement of conditions in all mental hospitals in Maharashtra. The bench had pulled up the state for its apathy. Hindustan Times