Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Concern over delay in suggesting sites for AIIMS

The Hindu: Madurai: Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
RTI response shows that the government is yet to submit report on five locations in Tamil Nadu.
Highlighting the response obtained from the Union government through Right to Information Act, the People’s Movement for AIIMS Hospital in Madurai (PMAM) has expressed concern over the State government’s delay in submitting assessment report on places identified as potential options for setting up the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Tamil Nadu.
Speaking to media here on Monday, V.S. Manimaran, chief coordinator, PMAM, cited the RTI response from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, to point out that the Tamil Nadu government was yet to submit its report on the five locations  Perundurai in Erode district, Thoppur near Madurai, Pudukkottai, Sengipatti in Thanjavur district and Chengalpattu in Kanchipuram district.
The RTI response states that a five-member team from the Central government visited these five places between April 22 and April 25, 2015, a couple of months after the announcement by the Union government in the budget that an AIIMS-type hospital will be set up in Tamil Nadu.
Stating that the location will be decided as per “challenge method,” the reply says that the Tamil Nadu government was requested to assess the sites and identify three to four locations for setting up of AIIMS.
According to the RTI reply, while the central team has submitted its report to the ministry, response from State government was awaited.
Thoppur tops list
Pointing out that a delegation of PMAM met J.P. Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, and Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, in April this year, Mr. Manimaran said that the Union government had indicated the probability of Thoppur being chosen as the location for AIIMS. “In such a situation, a delay from the State government is worrisome. The State government should act swiftly to ensure that an opportunity to get AIIMS in Madurai is not missed,” he said.
He also highlighted that a representation in this regard was made to Tamil Nadu Edappadi K. Palaniswami when he visited Madurai earlier this month.
“We are also planning to organise a non-violence protest in Chennai in June with the support of industrialists, traders, youth and social organisations from southern districts to highlight the demand for setting up AIIMS in Madurai,” Mr Manimaran added.