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Maharashtra government's Dairy Development Department is once again making an attempt to revive the virtually defunct 24 bed health centre (cottage hospital) at unit number 16 inside Aarey Milk Colony. The state government's Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development and Fisheries department issued a Government Resolution (GR) today paving the way for the eventual transfer of the hospital premises and staff quarters to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). Built in 1971 the hospital was intended to cater to the health needs of the local adivasis and Aarey Milk Colony residents. But now, the hospital is virtually defunct as it lacks basic medical equipments and maintenance. The shabby state of affairs in the only hospital inside the 3,160 acre Aarey Milk Colony came to light during the visit of the Estimates Committee of the State Legislature on February 28, 2012. During its hearings then the Dairy Development department had stated that the government was prepared to handover the Health Centre to the BMC if it was willing to operate it. It argued further that the hospital came under the municipal limits of the BMC. The Estimates Committee observed that the BMC should provide health care facilities to the local adivasis and other residents of the Aarey Milk Colony. Thereafter, the state government in August 2012 and July 2013 sought consent of the BMC to the directive of the legislature panel. The BMC in turn in two separate communications in September 2013 communicated its approval to the proposal. As per the GR, the hospital building and residential quarters of officers and employees covering a total area of 1,932.20 Sq Mtrs will initially be transferred to the Revenue department for the eventual transfer to the BMC. The need for a proper functional hospital for the inhabitants of Aarey Milk Colony has been long felt for close to four decades now. Built in 1971, the hospital was functional till 1980s.
For the locals any snake bite cases have to be shifted to hospitals in far away places in Jogeshwari, Goregaon, Malad or Marol area in Andheri. Many times the snake bite patients rarely survive before they are rushed to bigger hospitals in Western and Eastern suburbs. Aarey Milk Colony was established in 1949 and the Aarey Dairy was inaugurated in 1951 by then Prime Minister late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
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