A ray of hope for the beleaguered Gian Sagar Medical College and Hospital has disappeared as BJP leader Swaran Salaria backed out of taking over the management of the trust that runs the institutes in Banur.
Salaria, whose Chintpurni Medical College in Pathankot is also under the weather, had earlier acknowledged that, following a meeting of the board of directors of Gian Sagar Educational and Charitable Trust, he had “taken over” on April 17 with the promise to clear dues of around Rs 100 crore, including pending salaries. Classes at the college have not been held for almost three months now.
On Thursday, though, Salaria told HT, “The college is in a complete mess, and I have put plans related to taking over the management on hold.”
The college management at present is headed by Barinder Bhangoo — a daughter of Nirmal Singh Bhangoo, main accused in a Rs 45,000-crore chit-fund scam by Pearls Group— and her husband Harsatinder Singh.
The state government had issued show-cause notice to its management for cancellation of essentiality certificates to run courses on Monday. The department of medical education and research has given one week’s time to the management. Even chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday directed the state-run Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) to hold special examinations for the 1,500 students of MBBS, BDS and nursing at Gian Sagar institutes, so that their academic future does not hit a dead end. They would be shifted to other medical colleges of the state if and when the college is shut.
Salaria, when asked about the notice, said, “Why should I reply to the government’s show-cause notice? The Bhangoo family is still looking after the management. It is their prerogative.” Salaria had even held meetings with college staff and students, assuring them of streamlining the functioning at the earliest.
He added, “I needed clean management, but some controversial members from the earlier management are holding on to their offices.”
Earlier this month, Manish Jakhar, chief executive officer (CEO) of the trust, had told HT about Salaria’s taking over as a main trustee. On Thursday, the Bhangoo family remained incommunicado, while Jakhar too could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.
Besides non-payment of salary to the staff, the power connection of the college has also been snapped due to non-payment of Rs 2-crore bills. The management has not renewed its annual maintenance contract due to pending liabilities amounting to Rs 18 crore.