Taking serious note of the in-ordinate delay in completion of Jai Prakash Narayan All India Institute of Medical Sciences (JPN-AIIMS) at Phulwarisarif, the Patna High Court on Tuesday asked the Central government to begin construction of the 850-crore mega complex by June 2009.
While hearing a PIL filed by Council for Protection of Public Rights and Welfare through its general secretary, MP Gupta, pleading for a directive regarding a time-frame for the project, a division bench comprising Justice Shiva Kirti Singh and Justice JN Singh directed the Central government to file a progress report on the project by March 18.
The Vice-President of India had laid the foundation of JPN-AIIMS on January 2, 2004 under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojna (PMSSY), under which the Bihar government was required to provide 100 acres of developed land, approach road, free water and electricity for the institution.
However, it was only after the court’s intervention that the Bihar government provided 100 acres of land, albeit in two parts (34.42 acre at the Irrigation Research Institute and 66.98 acre at Phulwarisarif) in April 2006.
The Union Health ministry, in an affidavit in November 2006 stated that the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had approved the setting up of six AIIMS-like institutions across the country, including AIIMS, Patna on March 16, 2006 and these institutions were expected to be ready in the next three years (March 2009). In another affidavit in September 2008, the Central government said: “It is endeavored to start the construction of housing complex at the site by end of August 2008. However, the medical college and hospital complex at Patna is expected to start around October-November 2008.”
On Tuesday, however, Regional Director of the Union Health ministry, Dr Jayant Kaushal, said the first stage work (housing complex consisting of 167 flats of various categories, Director’s bungalow and guest house) tasked to M/s RDB Industrial Limited, Kolkata had started on September 2008 and would be completed by December 2009.
About the second stage work (medical college and hospital complex), the Central government counsel, Sanjay Kumar, said “we (Central government) expect that the tenders would be issued by February-end and work would be awarded by May-end.”
Separate affidavits were filed by electrical Superintending engineer Bibhuti Kumar and Executive Engineer, NH division, Ajit Kumar, who said that four-laning of NH 98 from Anisabad to JPN-AIIMS was underwayand would be completed by March 2009.