Appeal to President of India not to take part in foundation stone laying ceremony for B. R. Shetty Hospital

Richard D’Souza
Kemmannu News Network, 17-06-2017 09:57:46

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Udupi : We will appeal to the President of India to consider that not to take part in the foundation laying event of  B. R. Shetty Multi - specialty Hospital at Udupi, said Dr. P. V. Bhandary of Baliga Hospital here on Saturday, 17th June, 2017.

Speaking to media persons at Udupi press club, he said that News reports in recent days announced regarding president’s impending visit to Udupi on June 18th . While the citizens of Udupi take great pleasure in extending a warm welcome to him and look forward to his visit we felt compelled to write to him to convey our dismay at the manner in which widespread public opposition to the MOU between the Govt. of Karnataka and N. R. S. Health and Research Institute Pvt. Ltd is being blatantly ignored by all quarters.

The handover of the Haji Abdullah Maternity ad Children’s Hospital, Udupi to B. R. Shetty Health and Research Institute Pvt. Ltd is the subject matter of litigation with R. A. No. 40/2017 before the pendidng before Honble Addl. Senior Civil Judge Udupi. Several prominent citizens of Udupi have instituted these legal proceedings seeking cancellation of the MOU and lease granted by the Govt. of Karnataka in favour of B. r. S. Health and Research Institute as the same is contrary to statutory law and state policy, in addition to being an act of breach of public trust.

The lands on which the Haji Abdullah Maternity and Children Hospital stands were originally donated by a visionary citizen of Udupi, late Khan Bahadur Haji Abdullah Haji Kasim Saheb Bahadur in the early 1900s. Thereafter, the land was conveyed by the Udupi taluk Board to the Right Honable Secretary of State for India in Council vide a registered deed dated 1/7/1932. The donation of land by late Haji Abdulla and its subsequent conveyance by the Udupi Taluk Board vide aforementioned deed created a public trust for charitable purpose, it was the objective of late Haji Abdullah that the lands donated by him be utilized for the charitable purpose of providing free medical treatment to the poor and needy people of Udupi.

The Haji Abdullah Maternity and Children’s Hospital has accordingly upheld this charitable objective for nearly a hundred years and has provided excellent care to mothers and infants absolutely free of cost, regardless of whether they belong to BPL, APL category. Udupi is also the best performing district in the State of Karnataka., with its Mortality rate and Infant mortality rates being amongst the lowest not only in Karnataka but also throughout India.

The decision to handover a well performing public charitable hospital to a private company, and to permit the private company to build and operate a super specialty hospital on the public trust land has been opposed by us and other citizens of Udupi, hoping to persuade the Govt. of Karnataka to reconsider its decision. We have contended that the MoU with B. R. S. Health and Research Institute Pvt Ltd is in derogation of the Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurement Act of 1999, wince no attempt was made to invite counter proposals to Dr. B. R. Shetty’s proposal dated 20/7/2016 to redevelop the Haji Abdullah Maternity and Children’s Hospital. The failure on the government of Karnataka is part to maintain transparency, fair play and competition in the public procurement of goods and services is also contrary to the Guidelines for Swiss Challenge of the government of Karnataka and also the Karnataka State Integrated Health Policy.

While districts like Bilgi, Bagalkot, Raichur, Koppa, Gulbarga in North region of the state languish with poor facilities and high mortality rates amongst its mothers and infants, the Government of Karnataka has turned a blind eye towards them and hurriedly entered into the MoU with Dr. B. R. Shetty on the basis of private negotiations.

Dr. B. R. Shetty is one of the wealthiest men in the world, and there is every reason to believe that Karnataka’s public servants have forgotten law and policy due to the seduction and lure of Dr. Shetty’s immense wealth.

The people of Udupi will not rest until justice is done and the interests of the poor and needy people of Udupi and Karnataka are protected. Eighteen citizens of Udupi instituted O. S. No 231/2017 before the Honable 3rd Additional Civil Judge and JMFC, Udupi, seeking cancellation of the MoU lease granted in favour of Dr. B. R. Shetty. In the dsaid case, B.R.S. Health and Research Institute outright denied the donation of the land by late Haji Abdullah, despite being signatory to the MoU dated 29/10/2016 with the Karnataka government wherein Haji Abdullahs donation has been explicity admitted and confirmed. The audacious act of denying the legacy of a great charitable man is an affront to the people of Udupi, who have upheld that legacy for nearly a century. We are proud to call Habj Abduallah one of our own, and his selflessness is an inspiration to us. Dr. B. R. Shety deserves credit for his extraordinary business accomplishments, but the same do not hold a candle to the spirit of humanity, empathy and benevolence embodied by late Haji Abdullah.

President’s visit to the site where Dr. B. R. Shetty is constructing a super specialty hospital will hurt the sentiments of the people of Udupi who are actively protesting and working to have the same analyzed by a court of law. His presence will lend credibility to an otherwise unlawful transaction.

With the utmost respect, we request you on behalf of the citizens of Udupi to reconsider his itinerary and refrain from visiting the hospital site during his visit to Udupi on 18th June. This small gesture on his part will bolster the spirit of the people of Udupi and our faith in Indian democracy, of which he is the first citizen. We sincerely hope they will find it in his heart to empathize with the people of Udupi who cannot match the wealth and influence of Dr. B. R. Shetty, but who are the proud and humble descendants of late Haji Abdullah an incomparable visionary who must not be forgotten. We trust he will kindly oblige.

Nithyanand Olakad, G. Rajashekar, Balakrishna Shetty, Kishore Kumar Shetty, Girish, Iqbal, Salauddin and other among were present during the press meet.

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