Ratan Tata is set to release his long awaited Pet Project, the inauguration of the Tata Trusts Small Animal Hospital in Mahalaxmi, next month.

Post stepping down as the chairman of Tata Sons, Ratan Tata, has redirected his attention into creating a project that he holds a long-term affinity for. His dream is set to come into fruition with the opening of a world- class animal hospital in Mumbai, next month.

According to the Times of India, the hospital will be inaugurated in the first week of March.

“A pet is no different from a member of one’s family today. As the guardian of several pets throughout my life, I recognise the need for this hospital,” Ratan Tata to Times of India.

Tata’s roots of tuning in with this project trace as back as to a time he had to fly a pet to the University of Minnesota for a joint replacement. “But I was too late, and so they froze the dog’s joint in a particular position. That experience enabled me to see what a world-class veterinary hospital was equipped to do,” he said.

The Tata Trusts Small Animal Hospital is built at a cost of Rs 165 crore and covers five stories. It holds the capacity for housing 200 patients. The team will be led by Thomas Heathcote, a British veterinarian who has relocated to Mumbai for the hospital.

When the project was initially announced in 2017, the hospital was supposed to be built in Navi Mumbai. However, Ratan Tata felt the long commute would act as a deterrent for pet parents and decided to move it to a more central location.

“This (distance) could’ve been a major deterrent for pet parents, especially those in need of emergency services. With this in mind, finding the right space for land and getting permissions was also a reason for delay,” the philanthropist and industrialist explained. The construction was further delayed by the Covid pandemic.

“It then took us about a year and a half to realign the agreements, documentation, and paperwork. By the time we returned to normalcy, the expenses of the hospital had also been impacted owing to inflationary costs of steel, manpower and availability of raw materials,” said Tata.

The hospital is anticipated to offer a wide avenue of tools and resources, all encompassing into serving pets with qualitative facilities.

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