News

₹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.

Published on December 26, 2019

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.