Punjab: Centre to set up a cancer hospital in Malwa | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Punjab: Centre to set up a cancer hospital in Malwa

The Planning Commission today announced setting up a cancer specialty hospital in the state to deal with increasing number of cancer cases because of high underground water contamination.

delhi Updated: May 14, 2012 20:40 IST
HT Correspondent

Management of highly contaminated underground water is the focus of new collaboration between the Central and Punjab governments.



The Planning Commission on Monday announced setting up a cancer specialty hospital in the state to deal with increasing number of cancer cases because of high underground water contamination.

High use of pesticides in the farm sector is said to be reason for contamination of underground water, which has resulted in certain regions in the state turning into cancer hotspot.

Announcing an annual plan of Rs 14,000 crore for Punjab for this financial year, Planning Commission Deputy chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia also said that a technical committee headed by plan panel member Mihir Shah will visit the state to examine its water crises.

“The committee will suggest how Central government resources and resources under which can be used to address the issue,” he said, after discussing the issue with Punjab chief minister Prakash Singh Badal at the annual plan meeting.

But, Badal made an unequivocal attack on the Central government saying it was adopting “unitary form” of governance approach, reducing the state governments to “dignified municipal corporations.”

Badal said the current model of planning have failed to address the systemic problems like poverty despite 65 years of independence and told the commission about his government’s resolve to set up a Planning Board in Punjab.

The CM also accused the Central government of step brotherly treatment even though Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Ahluwalia and minister of state for Planning Ashwani Kumar come from Punjab.

Badal is the latest among the list of non-UPA chief ministers after Narendra Modi of Gujarat and J Jayalalithaa of Tamil Nadu, who have criticised the planning process for being ineffective in addressing the state-specific imbalances.

On major problems of the state like drugs, the CM said the drugs were being trafficked from Congress ruled Rajasthan and Pakistan creating havoc in the state. “Punjab cannot define the borders with Rajasthan nor does my government has any say over the Wagah border,” he told the panel.

In a bid to pacify Badal, Ahluwalia assured of helping the state to build up a cancer hospital in the state’s Malwa region. A team of Commission officials will tour the entire state to study the steady depletion of water level in the state.