Kashmir AIIMS Project in Limbo, Courtesy Firing Range



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Lal Singh
Former Health Minister, now Forest Minister, Lal Singh inspecting AIIMS site at Awantipora in this KL file Image

As J&K Government selected a piece of land for Union Government sanctioned AIIMS-like institution in Kashmir, certain objections have been raised about the land where the proposed medical college will be constructed.

A report by a Jammu based newspaper Thursday said that Union Health Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda has raised queries over the site of land for opening of Kashmir AIIMS at Awantipora.

“… we have found that the land identified for the AIIMS at Awantipora was completely out of the firing range and we will revert back to the Union Health Ministry shortly after which the approval was expected,” Bali Bhagat told the newspaper. He added that land for Jammu AIIMS at Vijaypur was cleared by the union government.

The Union government had asked state government to check whether Awantipora AIIMS site falls in to “limits of firing range of the Army”.

“There is a military unit,” Srinagar based defence spokesperson, Col N N Joshi, told Kashmir Life when asked about the firing range Union  Government has referred to, “this is an operational issue, I can’t say anything more.”

More so, the Union government has given its nod to opening of three Government Medical Colleges (GMCs) in state coming at a cost of Rs 567 Crores, each at the cost Rs 189 crore.

Five such new medical colleges were approved by Union government one each at Baramulla, Islamabad in Kashmir and Rajouri, Doda and Kathua in Jammu.

The GoI has asked the state government to open three Medical Colleges of Baramulla, Islamabad and Rajouri while decision on two other Colleges of Kathua and Doda have been put on hold due to “delay in completion of formalities”.

The amount for two remaining Medical Colleges will be released when the formal sanction is given by the Union government for them after completion of formalities by the State, the report added.

Once the Union Health Ministry clears Kashmir AIIMS at Awantipora, which was expected very shortly after the reply to the queries by the State Health Ministry, Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be approached by the State Government for laying foundation stone of both Jammu and Kashmir AIIMS at Vijaypur and Awantipora respectively on the same day which will come up at a cost of Rs 2000 Cr each.


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