CHANDIGARH, March 25:
Health Minister Brahm Mohindra today said that it was the Badals, and not the Congress government, who delayed the AIIMS Bathinda project for their own vested interests. Besides, at the same time, they also did not allow the Mohali Medical College to come for the same reasons, the minister added.
Reacting to Union minister Ms Harsimrat Kaur Badal’s allegations that it was because of the delay by the Punjab government that the classes could not be started in AIIMS Bathinda, the minister said, she seemed to be quite ignorant that the classes are not to start in Bathinda, but have already been approved to be started in Faridkot.
He said, the union minister was trying to pass on the blame for the delay to the state government, while it was the responsibility of the central government. “But I appreciate her expectations from our government that what her own government could not do in three years, she expects us to do overnight”, Mohindra remarked.
Giving details of the intentional delay and denial for two separate projects by the Badal government, Mohindra accused the former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal of deliberately refusing the government of India proposal to set up a medical college in Mohali for the vested interests to help some private hospitals in the area and also deliberately sitting over the AIIMS Bathinda project for the same reasons, as they (the Badals) wanted to help a few private medical institutions in the state.
Mohindra said, had Ms. Badal so much concern for the Punjab’s aspiring doctors, she should have been bothered more about the Mohali Medical College, where most of the students would be from the state instead of the AIIMS where the students will come from across the country.
Referring to Ms Badal’s charges that the Punjab government was responsible for the delay in getting the AIIMS Bathinda classes started on time, Mohindra said, while both the projects (AIIMS Bathinda and Mohali Medical Colleges) were approved in 2014, the Badal government deliberately sat over the one and rejected the other for the same reason of helping the private medical colleges and hospitals.
The minister pointed out, the AIIMS Bathinda was approved in 2014. The Akali-BJP government had three years at its disposal to get it started. Instead, they got it too much delayed and the foundation stone was laid down on November 11, 2016 just one month before the code of conduct for 2017 Vidhan Sabha elections was imposed, making their intentions of not being serious and sincere about the project, too obvious and clear.
Similarly, he added, the Mohali Medical College was approved by the government of India under the ‘establishment of new medical colleges attached with existing district/referral hospitals scheme’, which was not accepted by the former Chief Minister. He said, under the scheme 75 percent funds were to be provided by the government of India and 25 percent by the state government. However, despite repeated reminders by the GOI, Mr Badal, the then CM rejected the proposal on May 22, 2015, December 29 2015 and January 18, 2016 and finally issued status quo orders on October 30, 2016 apparently with an intention that this college should not come up to favour private hospitals around.
Mohindra disclosed that the government of India had sanctioned 50 medical colleges across the country and the Mohali Medical College was the only one, which did not come up thanks to the vested interests of the Badals.
He said, it took lot of efforts and energy by the present government, particularly the Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh who wrote to the government of India that the state was ready to establish the Mohali Medical College. He said, the state has now to provide 40 percent as it has been renegotiated “under revised scheme”. Had the Badals not wanted to help the private institutions, the state government would have to contribute 25 percent only.
On the allegations of delaying the approval for the power station, he said, it had already been approved by the state government last July.