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Decision on AIIMS site in two months

In a month or two, the Centre would announce the place for establishing AIIMS in Tamil Nadu, Union Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey said.

“It was announced in 2016-17 that Tamil Nadu would have a medical college. At that time, the Tamil Nadu government had identified five places. In two months, we will take a decision and within three to four months we hope to have the Prime Minister for the bhoomi puja [ground-breaking ceremony],” Mr. Choubey said.

The Minister’s announcement follows a direction by the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court to the Centre asking it to announce the location and deliver on its promise to establish AIIMS in the State.

The setting up of an AIIMS facility has been mired in controversy as several groups have been staging protests demanding that the institution be set up in Madurai. There were counter protests that it be set up in Thanjavur.

The State government had identified five places and the Central government teams had visited the sites following which Sengipatti near Thanjavur was picked. The location was chosen as it was centrally situated with good road, air and rail connectivity and the government could provide sufficient land besides required facilities such as water and electricity, officials said.

Court’s directive

The proposal was shelved after a section within the ruling party protested against the move demanding setting up of the facility in Madurai. Following a petition on the status of AIIMS, the court directed the Centre to finalise and announce the site by December 31 this year.

According to officials, the medical college attached to the Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai has already received Rs. 150 crore for upgradation. The tertiary care hospital is also a recipient of a Rs. 300 crore grant under an ongoing project of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency for upgrading equipment and facilities, they point out.

At a press conference after his visit to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, Mr. Choubey said the upgradation of medical colleges was progressing well. While 80% of the work on Madurai Medical College had been completed, work on the Salem Medical College was completed and facilities in the superspecialty hospital was on a par with those available in AIIMS. About 35% of the upgradation work in Thanjavur and Tirunelveli medical colleges were completed, the Minister said.


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