AIIMS-like institute in UP's Raebareli district?

The dream of an All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) like institution in Uttar Pradesh could soon be a reality with land for the project being identified in the state's Raebareli district, which also comprises the parliamentary constituency of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. Samajwadi Party (SP) legislator from Sarini, Devendra Pratap Singh, has already identified 114 acres in Bannamau gram panchayat in village Chanda of Lalganj tehsil for the purpose, officials said Tuesday.

"The proposal has reached the chief minister and is being studied for further action," an official told IANS. The official further said that the legislator had mentioned availability of 50.31 acres of land and no objection certificates (NoCs) from local farmers for another 63.40 acres. The proposed land is situated along the Lucknow-Banda national highway and is 33 km from the district headquarter and 80 km from the state capital. The sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) of Lalganj has already sent his report to the district magistrate and further action is currently underway, an official said.

Government sources said that Banchrawa legislator Ram Lal Akela has also identified a land in his constituency, which also falls in in Raebareli, and that the government authorities were working "overtime" to study the proposal. The state government Tuesday also made it clear that it would extend "all possible help" to the union health ministry of health opening an AIIMS-like institute in the state and would not let "political differences" stall the ambitious project. A state government spokesperson said that the Akhilesh Yadav government was in favour of a "cordial centre-state relations" and was more than willing to give land for opening up of such high-level medical institute in Uttar Pradesh.

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The development follows a recent statement by union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad that his ministry was keen on opening up an AIIMS in Raebareli, depending on availability of land. The government Tuesday said the chief minister has made it amply clear that his government was ready to provide for such land, even in Raebareli. "The Samajwadi Party government is committed to providing the best medical care to its people and would not allow any political differences come in between," the spokesman said.

The government further clarified that the Planning Commission's steering committee on health had, in 2011, had suggested opening of four new prototypes of premier AIIMS in addition to the eight already approved, by the end of 2017. The decision, based on suggestion of various expert groups and after a thorough study of the needs of health and medicare in many parts of the country also considered "ease of connectivity with medical colleges, health indicators, local disease burden, geographical location and physical infrastructure as pre-requisite for the opening of such institutes.

Other than the "currently underway" AIIMS like institutes being constructed in Patna, Bhubaneswar, Raipur, Bhopal, Jodhpur and Rishikesh, the plan panel had approved two more AIIMS-like institutes in Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. But, with a hostile state government with Mayawati at the helm, the project was hanging fire for more than a year. With the change in guard at the state, hope had arisen that AIIMS like institute would come up finally in Uttar Pradesh, a state hit by several health issues and lack of medical facilities. However, things aren't so good in Delhi with AIIMS, New Delhi facing a severe stuff crunch.

Source: IANS

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