Last week, the court formed a two-member committee, consisting of AIIMS director Randeep Guleria and Niti Aayog member VK Paul, to look into the issues being faced by hotels to convert into hospitals for treating Covid-19 positive cases.
The Delhi High Court on Monday directed hotels Surya and Crowne Plaza to start the process of converting their premises into Covid-19 care centres, based on the report of a two-member panel, which said the exercise is feasible.
Last week, the court formed a two-member committee, consisting of AIIMS director Randeep Guleria and Niti Aayog member VK Paul, to look into the issues being faced by hotels to convert into hospitals for treating Covid-19 positive cases. The panel was to look into the feasibility of state government’s May 29 order. It submitted the report on Sunday.
Continuing the hearing on petitions of Crowne Plaza and Surya, Justice Navin Chawla said the panel has submitted its report and suggested that it is “feasible” to convert the premises into a Covid care centre. Accordingly, the court directed the hotels to start the process. The conversion would be based on the ministry of home affairs’ (MHA) April guidelines. Sources said the patients to be admitted would be those with mild Covid-19 symptoms.
While Crowne Plaza was represented by senior advocate Maninder Singh, Hotel Surya was represented by senior advocate Saurabh Kirpal, Atul Sharma and Sugam Seth, among others. The counsel for the hotels flagged the issue of compensation. They have also been raising issues of practicalities and cost implications of refurbishing hotels and converting them to hospitals and vice versa.
The court directed them to discuss the issue of compensation with the Delhi government and directed the hotels to send a representation for the same.
On May 29, the Delhi government asked hotels Sheraton at Saket, Crown Plaza at Okhla Phase-I, Surya at New Friends Colony, Siddharth at Rajendra Place and Jivitesh at Pusa Road to be converted into Covid-19 hospitals. They are to be attached to hospitals — Batra hospital, Indraprastha Apollo, BL Kapur Memorial, Sir Ganga Ram and Max Smart Super Speciality.
Although July 29 has been set as the next date of hearing, hotels can approach the court in case of a dispute.