Millennium Post

Centre mobilising resources to ensure AIIMS in Madurai is similar to Delhi institute: Vardhan

Ramanathapuram (TN): The Centre was mobilising all its resources to ensure that the proposed AIIMS in Madurai was similar in all aspects to the premier institute in New Delhi, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Sunday.

The minister's assurance comes amid criticism by some quarters including PMK that construction work of the hospital was yet to take off even a year after the foundation stone was laid for it.

Harsh Vardhan was here to take part in the foundation stone laying ceremony of a medical college in this district at a cost of Rs 325 crore, along with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam.

".. we are taking all possible help in mobilising the best resources (available) in the country and outside. JICA is also helping us (in funding).

We will try to ensure that AIIMS to be set up at Madurai is similar in many aspects including research facilities as the AIIMS in Delhi, which is nearly 50 years old," Harsh Vardhan said.

"That is our promise to you," he said while addressing the gathering.

Tamil Nadu Health Secretary Beela Rajesh said the state was taking necessary steps to make sure that stipulated time frame was adhered to in establishing AIIMS at Madurai.

"We are ensuring that the construction activities for AIIMS (at Madurai) take place as per the stipulated timeframe.

Right now, the construction of compound wall for the facility is almost complete," she told reporters.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January 2019 had laid the foundation stone for the All India Institute of Medical Sciences at Thoppur near Madurai to be built at an outlay of Rs 1,264 crore. The proposed 750-bed modern All India Institute of Medical Sciences would offer 100 MBBS seats.

When the Centre had announced in its 2014-15 budget that new AIIMS would be set up in various parts of the country, the late Chief Minister and AIADMK Supremo J Jayalalithaa had requested one such facility in Tamil Nadu.

Following her plea, the Centre in 2015-16 budget said that an AIIMS would be set up in the state.

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