The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) project at Thoppur, Madurai, has not taken off yet and only a compound wall is all that remained, Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian said on Saturday (February 11).
The Minister claimed that the delay was due to non-allocation of funds by the Centre.
Watch: Heated exchange between Union Health minister, DMK MPs over Madurai AIIMS
The State government had provided 222.49 acres of land and granted “entry upon permission” and on various occasions Chief Minister MK Stalin and even he took up the issue with the Centre pleading for expediting the project, he said.
“There’s no infrastructure despite the classes for the second batch of 50 MBBS students commencing at the Government Medical College Hospital, Ramanathapuram, which is away from the project area,” Subramanian told reporters in Chennai.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone for the project in 2019, and the then AIADMK government provided 199.88 acres of land for the project and another 22 acres additionally sought by the Centre.
“The Centre permitted the intake of first batch of 50 students and said classes could be conducted at a private college, arts college or JIPMER in Puducherry. But our Chief Minister accommodated them at the Government Medical College Hospital, Ramanathapuram, and now the second batch of 50 students have been admitted,” Subramanian said when his attention was drawn to the Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya’s claim in the Parliament that the DMK was providing wrong information about the project.
Watch: Madurai AIIMS completion claim triggers war of words
Subramanian maintained that the site for the project had never been a problem but financial allocation had been. “While all similar projects are being funded by the Centre, the latter had said the Madurai project would be funded by JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency). Probably, this is the first such project to be funded by JICA in the world,” he said.
On Friday, when the issue was raised by the DMK MP TR Baalu, Mandaviya, while accusing the DMK of providing wrong information about the AIIMS Madurai project said medical courses of the institute are going on while ₹1,900 crore has been earmarked for establishing infrastructure.
“It is said that the work could commence by 2024-end and the project is expected to be completed by 2028,” Subramanian said.
Earlier, the minister visited the Kilpauk Medical College Hospital here where five people are undergoing treatment for burns due to LPG cylinder blast in Saidapet, and consoled them.