Punjab got two major promises from the central government on Thursday — an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Jalandhar, and a ‘smart city’ development plan for Amritsar and its satellite towns.
The AIIMS assurance came from union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan when chief minister Parkash Singh Badal called on him in Delhi.
Badal told him that the state government would provide 200 acres of land free of cost to the Centre for the institute, according to a press release issued here.
In a similar meeting, union urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu reportedly assured Badal of including the holy city of Amritsar in the Centre’s smart city project for holistic development. On the health front, the CM also urged Dr Vardhan to expedite the release of Rs 120 crore sanctioned for a cancer institute at Government Medical College, Amritsar. He also sought that the minister take up the issue of increasing MBBS and postgraduate seats in the state’s colleges with the Medical Council of India, in an effort to overcome shortage of doctors. Underlining that Government Ayurvedic College, Patiala, was one of the oldest institutes of the region, the CM sought the nod for restarting admissions there.
Rs 200CR SOUGHT TO TACKLE DRUG MENACE
CM Badal also sought help to tackle the drug menace in Punjab, and asked the Centre to set up advanced drug deaddiction centres. He demanded a special grant of Rs 200 crore to fight the crisis.