With first AIIMS yet to become fully functional, wordy duel starts for second
Patna,(BiharTimes): Even as the first All India Institute of Medical Sciences situated in Patna has not fully become functional the Union government is repeatedly demanding land anywhere in Bihar for the second such health hub.
The state government has repeatedly turned deaf ears and has instead asked the Centre to locate site for the second AIIMS.
Only a couple of days back the Cenre had said that four states, including Bihar, are not making available land for AIIMS. The Centre has demanded 200 acres of land linked with required infrastructure, that is four-lane road connectivity to highways, sufficient water supply, electricity connection of required load and regulatory/statutory clearances for the proposed AIIMS.
Bihar government, according to sources, is instead more interested in opening six more medical college and hospitals and seeking land for them. The state already has nine medical college and hospitals, including two in Patna.
The six places identified are Samastipur, Purnea, Ara, Chhapra, Begusarai and Mahua in Vaishali. At a few places, including Mahua, which is the Assembly constituency of health minister, Tej Pratap, land has even been acquired for the purpose.
The issue has acquired political dimension with the former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi stating that the Union health ministry has written half a dozen letters to the Bihar government since second AIIMS was announced in the Union budget of 2015-16. But the state government has not made available land.
But JD(U)’s national general secretary and former minister Shyam Rajak has his own argument. “The Centre has not yet streamlined the functioning of the existing AIIMS in Patna yet it is talking about opening a new one,” he added.
Though IMA’s Bihar Chapter has been critical of the state government’s failure to make land available, yet the truth is that most government and private doctors as well as common people are asking question as to why this premier institute situated in Patna has not become fully functional more than a decade after coming into existence.
“If this is the situation in Patna what will happen to another proposed AIIMS coming up elsewhere in the state. Just calling any hospital AIIMS would not serve the purpose,” said a doctor.