Panjab University (PU) has shelved the Rs 200 crore 100-bed hospital project at Dr Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital, terming it ‘unfeasible’.
The decision was taken by a high-powered committee headed by vice-chancellor A K Grover earlier this week.
The decision comes at a time when the university has spent around Rs 10 crore in building the infrastructure for the project in the past four years.
“We have decided that we will not go ahead with the project, as it is too big to be handled by a university like ours,” a top official and committee member, who wished not to be named, told HT.
Conceptualised in 200708, Punjab governor and city administrator Shivraj V Patil in December 2009 had laid the foundation stone of the project. Work on the project started in 2010, but continued at a snail’s pace as university started a number of infrastructure projects simultaneously. Of the four-storey structure, only a single floor has been constructed, even as the project was to be completed by January 2014.
The university now plans to give 25,000 square feet space of the project to the dental sciences college to create infrastructure for its PG courses block, while another 20,000 square feet would be given to other departments.
The area earmarked for the hospital was 45,000 square feet. But as per the expert committee appointed by the university, for such a hospital three times more space was required.
“Dental sciences college was demanding 1.5 acres for its PG block. They will be given space out of the hospital project,” a senior official said.
A special committee of experts, which was constituted to review the project last year, submitted its recommendation recently stating that without collaboration with the administration, the project would not be feasible for the PU as its cost would now be Rs 200 crore. Also after completion of the project the recurring cost would be around Rs 30 crore annually.
Sources said PU had two grants of Rs 50 crore and Rs 75 crore in mind to be given by the administration and government for creating the infrastructure which had been used in other such projects on the campus.
What is surprising though is that PU did not officially approach the administration to fund the project. The high stake project had political as well as bureaucratic ‘stamp’, when it was planned.
“It puts a question mark on the planning of the university,” another official said, adding that the project could have provided a relief for the patients in city as three institutes PGIMER, GMSH 16 and GMCH-32 were burdened with extreme patient load.
One of the persons behind the project, the then college prin cipal, Krishan Gauba, when contacted said the city was expanding and such a facility would have helpeof the people.