Nagpur: Coming down heavily on Maharashtra Government, the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court rapped the authorities for faling to install an MRI machine at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) as well as delay in installation of firefighting tools at GMCH and Indira Gandhi Government Medical College and Hospital (IGGMCH). The High Court was angered as it had directed the State Government to install MRI machine and fire safety measures in orders on July 23, 2021.
The Division Bench of Justice Sunil Shukre and Justice Anil Kilor directed the Government to float tenders in three weeks.
While hearing a petition wherein amicus curiae Anup Gilda pointed out the lack of efforts on the part of government in procuring MRI machine and not taking adequate fire preventive measures at GMCH and IGGMCH, the High Court Bench further censured the authorities for delay in sanctioning funds for installation of fire safety equipment. The Court has observed that it found some delay has taken place on the part of the State in sanctioning of Rs 20 crore and Rs 7.27 crore for GMCH and IGGMCH respectively.
D P Thakare, Additional Government Pleader submitted that the delay was there because several steps on the administrative side were required to be crossed over and for completion of each of the steps, a certain minimum time was required. He further said that most of the steps are completed and in a period of next two weeks, the administrative approval shall be granted in respect of incurring of the aforestated amounts required for installation of fire safety machinery and measures. He also made it clear, thereafter, within a reasonable period of time, financial sanctions shall be accorded.
The Court has accepted the statements so made across the Bar by the Additional Government Pleader on the basis of the instructions that ‘he has received from the concerned departments and accordingly, we direct the State to grant administrative approvals as regards the incurring of the expenditure to the extent of the above referred amounts for installation of fire safety and machinery at GMCH and IGMC, Nagpur within a period of two weeks from the date of the order. We further direct the State to accord financial sanction for the aforestated amounts in two weeks from the date of granting of administrative approvals and also release the funds, as per rules.’
The High Court has further directed that immediately after granting of financial sanctions, works for installation of the fire safety measures and machinery shall be undertaken by the concerned departments and completed as early as possible.
Another issue that came up at the court was of MRI machine that was not functioning in GMCH since almost a year. Adv Anup Gilda, Amicus Curiae submitted that the tender process regarding procurement and installation of MRI machine by GMCH is still not over although this Court had directed that it be completed within three months from July 23, 2021. However, it is submitted that price bids are yet to be opened and that means there is still a long way to go before the tender process is completed in all respects. Needless to mention that so far as this tender process is concerned and the issue involved in this petition is being stated, the tender process here would be over after the purchase order is issued.
Adv Gilda submitted, “We expect that the tender process here would be completed as expeditiously as possible and preferably within three weeks from the date of the order. Nevertheless, in order to have clarity in the matter, we would like the State to place before us a calendar of events like opening of the price bids, consideration of price bids, finalisation of the price bid, selection of the appropriate bidder, execution of agreement, if any, and placing of purchase order, with dates given in respect of each of these events. We request the Additional Government Pleader to place before this Court the calendar of events as indicated just now.”
D P Thakare, Additional Government Pleader put Government’s side while Adv Mugdha Chandurkar appeared for respondents.