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Delhi scrambles for beds, HC gets Ashoka Hotel as its own Covid facility

Tuesday, April 27, 2021, 11:39 Hrs  [IST]
HBI Staff | Hyderabad

Following a request from the Delhi High Court, the Delhi government has ordered Ashoka Hotel, a five-star facility, to set aside 100 rooms for a Covid Health Centre for judges and judicial officers of the court and their families. The facility will be linked to Primus Hospital in Chanakyapuri.

An order to this effect was passed by the Chanakyapuri Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Geeta Grover, on Sunday.

It comes when families of Covid patients across the national capital are scrambling to get beds and access to hospital care. The High Court itself has made several observations critical of the Centre and the Delhi government on this issue while hearing pleas on the Covid crisis. On April 22, when dealing with the issue of hospital beds, Justice Vipin Sanghi had observed: “It is a four-fold increase (in cases).

People are not getting beds. Forget about the ordinary man on the road. Even if I were to ask for a bed, I would not get it easily.”

On Monday, Delhi recorded 20,201 cases, with a positivity rate of 35 per cent, and 380 deaths.

“A request has been received from Delhi High Court for setting up of CHC facility for the Hon’ble Justices and other judicial officers of Delhi High Court and their families. Now, therefore, I, Geeta Grover… in exercise of powers…and in overall imminent public interest, do hereby require the 100 rooms of Ashoka Hotel, New Delhi for setting up of Covid Health facility for the use of Hon’ble Justices and other judicial officers of Delhi High Court and their families and place at the disposal of Primus Hospital, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi with immediate effect…”

The Registrar General of the Delhi High Court, Manoj Jain, did not receive calls or respond to text messages from The Indian Express seeking comment.

Grover confirmed to The Indian Express that the order had been passed. “It will take at least till the end of the week for the facility to become operational. It will be only for judges, HC staff and their families, as is mentioned in the order,” she said.

Ashoka Hotel is owned and operated by India Tourism Development Corporation Limited, a Government of India undertaking. ITDC has been trying to find a private player to operate the property for a while now.

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