The Union government gave permission to set up the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here around four months ago, but the Centre and the Punjab government are yet to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the state-of-the-art institution.
It is only after the MoU is signed that the foundation stone of the institute, to be set up under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY), will be laid.
The proposed MoU included details of the project, including cost, ratio of finance-sharing among the state and central governments, number of departments, faculty and other aspects.
The premier health institution will give a boost to health facilities across the Malwa region, grappling with cancer.
The Punjab government has already acquired around 170 acres land here from Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana. Presently, PAU is running its regional research station, which dealt with several research projects on cotton and other crops.
Meanwhile, the state government has completed the necessary formalities, including allotment of water supply and electricity connections at the site, besides completing formalities on the transfer of land.
T he Union gover nment has also accorded sanction to improve the roads leading to the project site.
“We are only waiting for the MoU to proceed further to make arrangements for laying its foundation stone,” said deputy commissioner Basant Garg.
On December 9 last year, Punjab chief secretary Sarvesh Kaushal had visited the site and directed the officials concerned to ensure that the project did not get delayed at any cost.
Kaushal had also asked the deputy commissioner to chart out a plan for one more route leading to the institute as around one lakh people were expected to visit the institute daily.
“We have completed all other formalities on priority and paying special attention to the project,” Garg said.
Being a dream project of the Badal family, the SAD-BJP alliance may go all out to lay its foundation stone well before the 2017 state assembly elections.
A controversy had erupted when the state government had decided to set up the AIIMS at Bathinda as Congress and Aam Aadmi party demanded the same institute to come up at some other place.
Union minister for social empowerment and Hoshiarpur member of Parliament (MP) Vijay Sampla, proposed the project to be set up in the Doaba region and even identified the land in Kapurthala district for the purpose, but Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal succeeded in bringing the institute to her constituency.