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Health team inspects AMRI

Health officials on Monday inspected the AMRI Hospitals, Dhakuria, within two weeks of chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s meeting with its promoters where reopening of indoor facilities at the fire-ravaged unit was apparently discussed.

Inpatient service at the hospital has been closed since the December 2011 fire tragedy in which 91 lives were lost.

The gutted interior of the hospital has been rebuilt and it has recently obtained the no-objection certificate (NOC) from the fire services department to admit patients.

But it still requires a clinical establishment licence from the health department and clearances from the Calcutta Municipal Corporation and the pollution control board. “The health licence will make it easier for the hospital to obtain NOCs from the civic body and the pollution control board,” a source said.

The source said five Swastha Bhavan officials checked the refurbished facilities at the main building and Annexe II for two hours.

Annexe I is in the same compound but not structurally connected to either of the two other buildings. This was where critically ill patients were present when the fire broke out.

“The clinical establishment licence will be issued on the basis of the team’s report,” a health official said.

The licence was cancelled soon after the fire on December 9, 2011, while eight of directors of the hospital were arrested. They were now out on bail after spending time in jail.

The cloud of a complete shutdown started shifting in mid-2013 when the government allowed the fire department to conduct its first inspection since the catastrophe. The Dhakuria unit got its licence to reopen the outpatient department by the end of the year.

Another door opened when the chief minister met at Nabanna on June 10 two owners of AMRI Hospitals — R.S. Agarwal and R.S. Goenka, the joint chairmen of the Emami group — and their sons Aditya Agarwal and Manish Goenka, both directors of the company.

“We are now waiting for the health licence to start the indoor service,” an AMRI official said on Monday. They have planned to start indoor operations with 200 beds.