Rally in Muktsar, PM Modi blames Capt Amrinder Singh’s government for not giving certain clearances for AIIMS in Punjab which has to given by state government. The Rs 1,000-crore AIIMS project granted to Punjab in 2016 has been held up because the cash-strapped state government has not been able to chip in a mere Rs 16.28 crore as its share. As a result, the ground-breaking ceremony of the project in Bathinda, which was scheduled for Monday, has been postponed yet again. The project is awaiting Rs 4.28 crore grant from the state government as external development charges, change in land use and zoning plan to be paid to the Bathinda Municipal Corporation; Rs 8.50 crore for getting a 66 KV power substation; Rs 1 crore for shifting a water channel running across the site; Rs 2 crore for access road to the AIIMS site from the main road; and Rs 50 lakh to be given to Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) for getting water discharge and sewerage disposal clearances. The MoU signed between the state government and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare states that the state can either pay this amount or waive it. The entire cost of setting up AIIMS in Bathinda is to be borne by the Centre, barring land and the above-mentioned services, which were to be provided by the state. The Union Health Ministry was to start OPD services for drug addicts and cancer patients in this region by February next year. Several reminders to the state by Union Food Processing Minister and Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal have gone unheard. State health officials say on their part, all necessary work is over and the finance department has cleared around Rs 3.5 crore for clearances. “In a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh on June 6, the state government discussed waiving dues with regard to the Bathinda MC and the power department,” said Satish Chandra, Additional Chief Secretary, Health.
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