Punjab govt shortlists three sites to relocate Mohali medical college
Three-member committee of principal secretaries constituted to finalise ‘better’ site for Mohali medical college, where classes for the first MBBS batch have already begun
Nearly two months after the Punjab government mooted the proposal to relocate the newly set up medical college in Mohali, the government has identified three sites and constituted a three-member committee of senior IAS officers to finalise one.
The college, named Dr BR Ambedkar State Institute of Medical Sciences and affiliated Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, was set up during the previous Congress government in the buildings of the existing Mohali civil hospital, Punjab Health System Corporation (PHSC) and a training institute of the health department. The first MBBS batch with 100 seats started last month.
While the civil hospital is to be eventually shifted to Sector 66, the other two offices have been moved to the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) building in Phase 8.
The sites shortlisted for the medical college are at the previously proposed Jujhar Nagar, near Phase 6; Medicity in New Chandigarh, and Sector 81, where the Punjab government had acquired 381 acres to set up an integrated Knowledge City in 2009.
The sites were shortlisted by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) on state government’s directions. Now, the three-member committee, comprising principal secretary KAP Sinha, principal secretary (PWD) Anurag Verma and principal secretary (medical sciences and research) Hussan Lal, has been tasked with picking one. The committee is slated to meet in the coming week.
In April, former health minister Dr Vijay Singla had mooted the proposal to have a “better” site for the medical college, citing lack of land for expansion.
He had expressed displeasure over the site selection, stating that the 10-acre land available in the college’s vicinity was not adequate to expand it in the future. According to the previous plan, the medical college was to be further expanded to Jujhar Nagar, which is around 2 km from the present site.
The proposal had invited opposition from previous Congress Mohali MLA and former health minister Balbir Singh Sidhu, who was instrumental in clearing land for the project. According to Sidhu, the previous government had made 35 acres available for the college, already spent crores and secured all necessary approvals to start the first session.
However, Mohali MLA Kulwant Singh said the current site was not conducive for a good college environment and will be shifted to a better site within Mohali.
College principal Dr Bhavneet Bhatti also said Jujhar Nagar was not suitable for the college. “The college should be set up at an appropriate location, which will provide a healthy atmosphere to students and patients.”
Fourth medical collage in Punjab
The ₹300-crore project was sanctioned in 2012 during the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) regime under central-state shared funding in the 60:40 ratio. Initially started with 100 MBBS seats, the institute will eventually be upgraded to 220 seats.
Set up under the aegis of an autonomous society, Dr BR Ambedkar State Institute of Medical Sciences Society, the institute is the fourth government medical college in Punjab after Amritsar, Patiala and Faridkot, and the first to come up in 48 years.
The four government medical colleges, apart from private ones, offer around 1,500 seats in all across Punjab.