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₹5,100 cr spent, but tardy progress on most new AIIMS

Maitri Porecha New Delhi | Updated on December 26, 2019 Published on December 26, 2019

The first batch of MBBS with 50 seats has started in each of the six new AIIMS, but construction work at most institutes is slow   -  SingamVenkataramana

Due to local issues construction work on most of the 15 medical institutes is not satisfactory

Even after spending close to ₹5,100 crore in 2019-20, the Ministry of Health could not make satisfactory progress on the 15 newly-sanctioned All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

Course starts

While the first batch of MBBS (2019-20) with 50 seats in each of the six new AIIMS — Raebareli (Uttar Pradesh), Kalyani (West Bengal), Bhatinda (Punjab), Deogarh (Jharkhand), Bibinagar (Hyderabad) and Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh) — has started and outpatient department services have commenced in Nagpur and Bhatinda, construction work at most institutes has been slow, as land, water and power issues are to be sorted out, Health Ministry officials said. BusinessLine accessed a copy of the minutes of a meeting of the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY), which charted out the hurdles that need to be cleared in the process of building these AIIMS.

AIIMS Raebareli was sanctioned in the second phase, but construction is stuck because 50 acres of additional land, out of the total 150 acres committed by the Uttar Pradesh government is pending.

“Also, removal of hindrances and encroachment in the form of water bodies, condemned buildings, religious places of worship, no-objection certificate of phase I is pending from Raebareli authorities. Old buildings have to be dismantled by the Public Works Department,” the minutes read.

While no hospitals were taken up in the third phase, four were sanctioned in the fourth in Nagpur and Mangalagiri (Andhra Pradesh). Kalyani and Gorakhpur.

“While classes have started in Gorakhpur, up to 54 per cent work has been completed for the hospital. The State has to expedite diversion and shifting of a drain running through the campus, as also action is required for disposal of storm water from the AIIMS complex to an external drain,” a senior official handling PMSSY in the Ministry said.

In Nagpur, too, shifting of waterline and electrical cable passing inside the campus is an issue. In Kalyani, the site is awaiting electricity supply and “there is shortage of good earth inside the campus for external development work,” the minutes note.

While in Mangalagiri arrangement is yet to be made for water supply, storm water drain, main approach road to the campus, electric substation, shifting of an NDRF campus and dismantling and disposal of an old building of a tuberculosis sanatorium for the AIIMS to come up. In the fifth phase, seven hospitals were sanctioned, at Bathinda, Guwahati (Assam), Samba (Jammu), Awantipora (Kashmir), Madurai (Tamilnadu), Bilaspur (Himachal Pradesh) and Bihar.

In Kashmir, 15 acres proposed for the site is stuck in litigation and, therefore, the site has not yet been handed over. In Bilaspur, the authorities have to remove a structure of the Animal Husbandry Department and hand over an encumbrance-free area while in Bhatinda and Guwahati, construction of electric substations needs to be expedited.

“Supply of raw water and disposal of storm water and sewage has to be figured out,” the official said. In Bihar, the State government has not yet finalised a site to be forwarded for the Centre’s approval.

In the sixth phase, three hospitals were sanctioned in Rajkot (Gujarat), Deoghar and Bibinagar (Telangana), but due to local issues they are stuck.

In Rajkot, the issue is of providing encumbrance-free land and it is not clear how much land the State government is planning to provide. Local people have cultivated crops on the proposed site, which need to be cleared. Only one AIIMS is proposed in Haryana, at Manethi, in the seventh phase. Its construction has run into trouble as the Ministry of Environment’s Forest Advisory Committee has declined the proposal of the State government for conversion of forest land for construction of the AIIMS. “Now Haryana is searching for an alternative site,” said the official.

Expenditure

Close to ₹4,000 crore was spent in 2019-20 by the Centre to strengthen super-specialty hospitals including 21 AIIMS and 75 government-run medical colleges.

In addition, a ₹3,500-crore has been sanctioned as HEFA loan to be repaid by the government over the next ten years, from Ministry of Human Resources and Development, of which ₹1,100 crore has been drawn till date, officials said.

From 2009 to 2019, up to ₹20,756 crore has been approved for building the 15 new AIIMS, and are targeted to be completed between 2020 and 2023.

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Published on December 26, 2019
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