The one-stop crisis centre for women affected by sexual violence, or Nirbhaya centre, a project proposed for Patiala, has now been shifted to Bathinda.
The centre is aimed at providing quick and one-stop facility to women affected by sexual violence.
However, the shifting of the centre has left Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP’s) Patiala MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi fuming, as all the mandatory formalities for setting up the centre had been completed by the MP and Patiala administration in 2014.
The Patiala MP was the first to respond to the Union government’s proposal as it had decided to open 50 such centres across the country in the first phase. The government has set a target of a total of 650 centres all over the country in the future.
Earlier, AIIMS shifted from Jalandhar to Bathinda
Earlier, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), which was to be initially set up in Jalandhar, was shifted to Bathinda, the constituency of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who is also the Union food processing minister.
Harsimrat laid the foundation stone of the centrally sponsored project on March 27 and the construction of the centre has begun at civil station locality here.
“At the beginning of the programme, the Union ministry of women and child development had stated that the project was to be given to MPs who responded first to the ministry. I was the first parliamentarian across the country to respond to the letter of the ministry and even held fruitful meetings with the officials concerned,” Dr Gandhi said.
The MP said the shifting of the project was totally unjustifiable and even the ministry had not bothered to inform the MP concerned about the shifting of the Nirbhaya centre.
“When I took up the matter with the ministry, it asked me to apply for the centre in the second phase, which is completely unjustified. Harsimrat held several meetings with Maneka Gandhi and the project was shifted to her constituency,” Dr Gandhi added.
Patiala scored points
Responding to Dr Gandhi’s interest in setting up the centre in Patiala, the ministry of women and child development had formally written to the state government and the MP on October 1, 2014, to identify and allocate land to set up the centre in Patiala.
Following this, 300 sq metre of land was allotted at the government Baghi Khana, a property of the public works department located behind the circuit house in Patiala.
Pertinently, besides sending the proposal and all documents pertaining to the land allotment directly to the central authorities, the Patiala administration had sent the same to the state government as well.
“The state government deliberately failed to follow up the case with the Centre,” Dr Gandhi said.