Harsimrat, Manpreet spar over NOCs for AIIMS at Bathinda
PM had laid the foundation stone in 2016. It includes a 750-bed medical institute with 10 specialty and 11 super-specialty departments.
Bathinda Union food processing industries minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who is also the Bathinda MP, and Punjab finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal, on Saturday, sparred over the issue of the state government reportedly not granting various No Objection Certificates (NOCs) for the ₹925-crore All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) project in the district.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone of the AIIMS on November 25, 2016. It includes a 750-bed medical institute with 10 specialty and 11 super-specialty departments. It will also have a 100-seat medical college and 60-seat nursing college.
In a statement last week, Harsimrat had said it seemed the Congress government had got jittery when the Union health ministry announced that it would start construction in June this year and OPD in February 2019. “The Congress felt the SAD-BJP alliance would get credit if things go as planned. It is a shame that the people of Malwa are being denied advanced medical care because of petty politics,” she had added.
On Saturday, Manpreet, who had visited the Bathinda (urban) assembly segment that he represents, told reporters, “There arises no question of the Punjab government creating any hurdles in the project. The SAD is playing politics.”
“It is totally a Central government project, so how can one think that the state government will not issue any NOCs. The state government will issue the required clearances, only if the agency executing the project applies for these. The executing agency also has to pay for the Change of Land Use (CLU) and other charges, if any,” he said, adding that as per his information, construction work of AIIMS had started.
Later in the evening, Harsimrat responded to Manpreet’s statement by saying that he was misleading the Punjabis.
“The site is not even being made encumbrance-free by shifting of water courses, forget the grant of environmental clearance or approving CLU and building plans,” she said.
Referring to Manpreet’s statement implying that the necessary NOCs had not been applied for, she added that union health minister JP Nadda had written a letter to Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on August 3, detailing that the executing agency for the project had completed all the documentation and submitted the same to authorities in Punjab for statutory approval.