West Bengal dragging its feet on AIIMS, says Azad
The conflict between the state and the Centre came to the fore when Union minister for health and family welfare, Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad, today squarely held the previous and present state governments responsible for the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) not coming up in the state.
“While the Uttar Pradesh government has sanctioned land in Rae Bareily for AIIMS, the West Bengal government is yet to do so," the minister said while addressing a Press conference at the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) office here today.
Mr Azad said though five years have passed since land was identified in Raiganj, the state government is yet to give its nod. He said that things did not change even after the Trinamul government came to power. "The previous government in Uttar Pradesh too did not sanction land, but the present dispensation did it," he said, drawing a parallel.
Mr Azad said it is unfortunate that the West Bengal government is not realising that once AIIMS comes up in Raiganj, not only the state in general and north Bengal in particular will benefit, it would also open up employment opportunities.
"People will no longer need to travel to Delhi and Mumbai; also, the proposed AIIMS at Raiganj will bring in investment to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore," Mr Azad said, ruing he fact that there has been no progress on land acquisition.
“The district has been chosen based on needs of the people. Though land has to be acquired by the zilla parishad, it cannot do so without the help of the state government. The government, unfortunately, has not shown much interest in the project,” the Union minister said.
Six campuses of AIIMS are already coming up in Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Orissa and Rajasthan.
Earlier in the day, Mr Azad launched a book co-authored by an eminent homoeopath, Dr Prasanta Banerjee, and his son, Dr Pratip Banerjee. The book ~ The Banerjee Protocols: A new Method of Treatment and Homeopathic Medicines ~ focuses on homeopathy that follows a scientific method of treatment and and relies on advanced tests rather than the conventional method.
Addressing the gathering at the book launch, Mr Azad said, the Indian Council of Medical Research is looking into the claims made in the book to check their authenticity.