A tenancy dispute between an eye clinic and owners of popular mall Sarit Centre has escalated with the latter insisting that it has no plans of extending the lease, which expires at end of the month.
In response to a petition by Laser Eye Clinic, the chief operations officer of PBM Nominees, Nitin Shah says it has no intention of renewing or extending the lease or creating any other landlord-tenant relationship with the clinic.
Ms Shah says PBM Nominees issued a notice of non-renewal of lease to the clinic on July 8 last year, giving them enough time to look for an alternative place and make arrangements to relocate.
She adds the notice was issued out of general courtesy and respect for long-standing relationship with the clinic and in consideration for them insisting that they needed absolute silence in their surroundings, something that became increasingly impossible in a shopping centre.
Laser Eye Clinic, the oldest ophthalmology practice in East Africa and a pioneer in eye surgeries, says it needs time to relocate the delicate equipment to its new location.
The clinic through Dr Mukesh Joshi says specialist engineers are required from the companies in South Africa, Italy and the US to decommission and dismantle the medical equipment, safely transport and thereafter calibrate and test the equipment before commissioning them in the new premises.
He adds that using unqualified personnel to attempt to dismantle or relocate the machines would be dangerous and hazardous to human life and the environment.
Laser Eye Clinic, he notes, has contacted a specialist in South Africa, but cannot travel because of restrictions and lockdown measures put in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The two parties have had a tense relationship since 2018 when the clinic sued Sarit Centre after the mall owners tried to construct and do renovation works outside business hours, after part of the building was destroyed by fire.
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