For five decades now, Punjab and Haryana have been in a perpetual race to claim Chandigarh, but both states have shied away from their duties towards the shared capital's key health institution. The governments of the two states have failed to pay `254 crore due to the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, which they owe under the Punjab Re-organisation Act of 1966.
As per section 77 of the re-organisation act, the two states were bound to contribute for expenditure to run the hospital. Even a notification regarding the decision was issued on May 20, 1967, by the union ministry of home affairs. It was decided that 50% of the total expenditure on the maintenance of GMSH (earlier called General Hospital) was to be borne by the Chandigarh administration and the remaining 50% by Punjab and Haryana governments on 60:40 ratio, respectively.
Since then, the Punjab government has just paid around `13 crore, and Haryana `17 crore. As per calculations, Punjab and Haryana respectively owe to the UT health department `157 crore and `96 crore. So far, the contribution made is 8% of the due by Punjab and 15% by Haryana.
A similar notification was issued for the premier, Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, but the two states owe more than `100 crore to the PGIMER as well, it is learnt.
"The matter needs to be taken up at the highest level to recover the balance share amounting to `254 crore from both the governments to develop or augment the existing infrastructure for the benefit of general public," an audit report of GMSH-16 said.
A meeting was convened by the adviser to UT administrator in 2012, but the matter still hangs fire, five decades and counting.