Delayed Command Hospital project ready to take off

The long-pending Rs 350-crore project to modernise the largest hospital operated by the armed forces is ready to take off. The project to erect a six-storey building to relocate the Command Hospital to Kondhwa will get under way soon, Command Hospital authorities confirmed.

The project to relocate the largest tertiary care multispecialty centre of the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) to Kondhwa had hit an airpocket after the estimated project cost sprang up from an initial Rs 200 crore to more than Rs 300 crore. After several clearances, the ambitious project is now in the final stage of approval.

The present 1,047-bed Command Hospital is spread over 108 acres. Most of the buildings are very old and several have undergone renovations. The departments are scattered on the huge campus forcing people to cover long distances to move from one department to another.

In an email reply, Command Hospital authorities including Maj Gen V Ravishankar, Commandant of the hospital told The Indian Express that sanction for construction of the new multi-storey modern hospital building is now in the final stage of approval. The new building will be constructed opposite the Military Hospital-Cardio Thoracic Centre (MH-CTC), Kondhwa.

The project will include an oncology complex, a civil outpatient department and a dental centre. An open air cinema hall, a religious institute, shopping centres, a cafeteria and sports facilities have been planned to provide an environment for patients to aid healing, Brig S K Jatana, Deputy Commandant of the hospital said.

The hospital was started on December 1, 1947 as Military Hospital (Poona). It was named the Command Hospital (Southern Command) on April 8, 1967 and serves as an integrated teaching and training centre for undergraduate, postgraduate, nursing and paramedical courses.

The new building at Kondhwa is likely to have 30 superspecialty departments and 200 beds for civilian patients.

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