Medical Staff from Sassoon Hospital Residing in Hotels Asked to Clear Dues, Hoteliers Get Impatient

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Pune, August 21, 2020: With the onset of the Coronavirus disease (COVID19) pandemic, the district administration had put up their medical staff in 24 different hotels for their quarantine as they have been working on the ground as frontline workers.

However, the services rendered by the hotels for the staff have not been paid for since a while. Things took a surprising turn when the hoteliers expected the collector’s office to clear the dues while the officials said that the facilities of the hotels have been availed by the Sassoon General Hospital (SGH) and they should clear all residing dues from their repository.

The stay of the doctors in the hotels has amounted to a bill of Rs 5.64 crore just for stay and Rs 1 crore for food. This huge amount had gone unnoticed for a long time because of which one hotelier was forced to move to the high court.

To resolve this issue, a meeting was held with the previous collector Naval Kishore Ram. With just two days left for the hearing, the collector’s office has decided to shift the responsibility of the payment of the bills to the Sassoon General Hospital.

On August 18, the collector officer sent a letter to the Sassoon Government Hospital stating that the funds from Mahatma Phule Jana Arogya Yojana can be utilized for the purpose.

It has come to light by a senior official from the district administration that the collector’s office issued this letter after they attempted to secure funds from the state government failed. With no help coming through, they tried to raise money through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) but the idea did not work too well.

According to the Pune Hotelier’s Association, the hotels partnered with the district administration for not earning profits but for helping the frontline workers. The hotels are suffering huge losses and have to cover the charges of electricity bills and salaries. Therefore, the administration has been requested to clear all dues irrespective of who does it.