Khattar’s assurance clears the air on fate of medical college

  • Vishal Joshi, Hindustan Times, Karnal
  • Updated: Nov 10, 2014 20:28 IST

Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s assurance here on Saturday that construction of Kalpana Chawla Government Medical College (KCGMC) would be put on a fast track has ended the confusion on the fate of the upcoming healthcare facility.

On November 18, 2012, then chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had laid the foundation stone of the medical college and announced to complete the project in 25 months.

The state government has hired Hospital Services Consultancy Corporation (HSCC), a central government agency having expertise in the healthcare infrastructure development, for the upcoming medical college named after the late astronaut Kalpana Chawla.

However, all opposition parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), had opposed the move of the then Congress government alleging that the 43-acre land was insufficient for the project.

Various political parties had promised Karnal electors to shift the medical college out of the city limits to a place with more land.

Government sources said though there was a delay in initiating the Rs 650-crore project due to various mandatory procedure of allotting tenders to maintain transparency, misinformation campaign led to the confusion on its fate.

“A sum of Rs 143 crore from public exchequer has already been spent on the medical college and it was not an easy task to change the project site at this juncture. But leaders from political parties and a section of the media was reporting that KCGMC may be shifted to some other site. It led to confusion that in case of change of guard in the state, the project may either be shelved or delayed and several doctors and others were hesitant in joining the upcoming institute. But the chief minister’s assurance to ensure its speedy construction would restore the faith of various stakeholders in the project,” said a senior government functionary associated with the project.

Challenge remains

KCGMC director Dr S Kashyap told Hindustan Times on Sunday that work of Supreme Infrastructure, one of the private companies engaged in the construction, was far from satisfactory and the state government had been advised to initiate action against the firm.

Work by all other companies was going as per the plan, he said.

“Mumbai-based Supreme Infrastructure (SI) was allotted Rs 137-crore work of construction of seven-storey teaching block, eight-storey hostel and 10-storey faculty residential complex. The company was allotted work in November last year but its performance is miserable. The company is facing internal financial crunch and it is unable to pursue work as per the plan. There is hardly any development in the work allotted to it,” said Kashyap, nodal officer for the project.

Meanwhile, sources said the government may impose penalty on SI and the work may be allotted to some other company for its timely completion.

Sources said if the state government decides to cancel Supreme Infrastructure’s work contract and go for bidding again, it may take least a month.

“However, if some competitive company is allocated the work, it may meet the deadline of completing the project next year. After all, KCGMC project gets more importance for being in the chief minister’s city,” said a government official.

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