Bathinda: The Rs 1,000-crore AIIMS project granted to Punjab in 2016 is held up because the state government has not been able to chip in its share of Rs 16.28 crore. Due to this, the groundbreaking ceremony for the project, which was scheduled for Monday, has been postponed again.
From a total of Rs 16 crore, the project is awaiting a grant of Rs 4.28 crore from the state government as external development charges, change in land use and zoning plan has to be paid to the Bathinda Municipal Corporation, Rs 8.50 crore is needed for a 66 KV power substation, Rs 1 crore for shifting a water channel running across the site, Rs 2 crore for an access road to the AIIMS site from the main road and Rs 50 lakh is to be given to Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) for getting water discharge and sewerage disposal clearances.
As per the MoU signed between the State Government and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare “the state can either pay this amount or waive it. The entire cost of setting up AIIMS in Bathinda is to be borne by the Centre, barring land and the above-mentioned services, which were to be provided by the state”.
The Union Health Ministry was to start OPD services for drug addicts and cancer patients in the region by February 2019. Inspite of reminders to the state by Union Food Processing Minister and Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal, no action has been taken yet.
State health officials say on their part, all the necessary work is over and the finance department has cleared around Rs 3.5 crore for clearances.
“In a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh on June 6, the state government discussed about waiving dues with regard to the Bathinda MC and the power department,” said Satish Chandra, Additional Chief Secretary for Health.