Bengal AIIMS hits dead-end due to land issues: Azad

Kolkata, Jan 6: Citing “land issues” as hindrance in establishment of an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in West Bengal, union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad Sunday said overhauling of existing medical colleges is the alternative.

Azad announced a slew of new projects and expansion plans of existing institutes to augment the state’s capacity to fight cancer-related diseases.

“It takes time…land acquiring is a problem…in the entire country. We wanted to open new AIIMS across the country. Six AIIMS have been established, seventh one is in progress and the eighth one in Raiganj (in West Bengal) didn’t take off,” he told reporters here.

“Since we saw in the first phase that each institute took five to six years and that land identification takes 10 to 11 months…so we thought of adopting a new formula.

“Why not upgrade the existing medical colleges to superspeciality (250 beds)…that’s easier to do…there’s no land problem….there is no other problem,” he said.

According to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the upgradation would be done at an estimated cost of Rs. 450 crore.

IANS