The deadline for completing construction of the super-speciality building at JJ Hospital in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, has been extended by 18 months after missing the original July schedule, reported Hindustan Times.

This extension was granted by the new medical education minister Hasan Mushrif to prevent further deferrals that could arise from selecting a new contractor.

The contractor was fined for the delay as well as received a show cause notice.

The official work order for the project was passed in July 2020, with the work originally expected to be completed in around three years.

Currently, the construction work is 29% finished, with the foundation and initial construction challenges mostly overcome.

The new completion deadline for the ten-storey building is set for 30 March 2025.

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Following the completion, the project will increase the hospital’s capacity by adding 1,200 beds and various specialised units, including cardiovascular, neurosurgery, paediatric, urology, and gastroenterology among others along with a VVIP ward.

The Rs7.78bn ($94.17m) facility will be the largest hospital in Mumbai upon completion.

A senior official from the medical education department was quoted as saying by the publication: “Although the deadline was missed, the reasons given by the contractor were genuine, which were taken into consideration, while giving the extension.

“During the Covid-19 pandemic, work never stopped, though the pace was slow.”