The historic Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH), founded as the Prince of Wales Medical College, has turned 97, with the college authorities and its alumni association issuing a fresh plea to the Bihar government to preserve key heritage landmarks of the institution undergoing renovation.
Old buildings of the PMCH are being demolished in phases to make way for modern, high-rise structures on its sprawling campus.
Amid a fall in COVID-19 cases in Patna, the 97th anniversary of the foundation of Bihar and Odisha’s first medical college was celebrated on Friday, and 74 students were awarded gold medals in different subjects, PMCH Principal V P Choudhary said.
The institution, originally christened as the Prince of Wales Medical College, was established in 1925, to perpetuate the memory of the visit of the then Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) to Patna in December 1921. It was renamed as PMCH a few decades after India’s Independence.
The anniversary event was held on the campus and attended by Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey and a few eminent doctors.
”As proud alumni, we would request you (Bihar health minister) to take care of few heritage sites, so that they be left intact for future generations, to witness what it was in the early part of the last century, when this great institution was functioning. All great societies preserve heritage buildings,” PMCH Alumni Association president, Dr Satyajeet Kumar Singh, said.
The Administrative Building, which houses the historic plaque installed on the formal inauguration of the institution in 1927, and the iconic old Bankipore General Hospital Building, should be preserved, as ”memories of its glorious past”, he said.
The PMCH Alumni Association had earlier appealed to preserve and restore Administrative Building which houses the Principal’s Office; and the old Bankipore General Hospital Building equipped with a British-era lift, housing the Hathwa Ward and the old operation theatre, which was visited by Mahatma Gandhi in May 1947.
Principal Choudhary, also an alumnus of PMCH, when asked about the fate of Administrative Building and the old Bankipore General Hospital Building, said, ”We have also sent an appeal to the government authorities, and our hope is that while creating a new state-of-the-art medical infrastructure on the campus, the key heritage landmarks will be preserved for next generations.” The foundation stone of the mega redevelopment project of the PMCH was laid by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on February 8, 2021 on the campus. As part of the revamp plan, a 5462-bed hospital complex will come up at the site at a cost of Rs 5,540 crore, and the project is expected to be completed in seven years.