Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti called for expediting the work to establish five new medical colleges in the state.
“The new medical colleges coming up at Baramulla, Anantnag, Rajouri, Doda and Kathua will not only strengthen the medical infrastructure, but also give a big boost to tertiary healthcare and medical education in the region,” she told a high-level meeting convened here to review the progress of the work.
She said with 100 seats per institute, the new colleges would substantially add to the existing MBBS seats in the state.
The work at Baramulla and Anantnag has been assigned to Jammu and Kashmir Project Construction Corporation (JKPCC) whereas, for Rajouri, it has been entrusted with the Roads and Buildings Department, Jammu.
Foundation stones of these three colleges were laid by Mehbooba and Union Health Minister JP Nadda on May 15.
As regards the colleges at Doda and Kathua, the Chief Minister was informed that the final award and the consequent mutation of the land in favor of Health and Medical Education Department for the Doda college and transfer of land for the one at Kathua was under process, said a spokesman, adding that she directed officials for time-bound completion of the process.
The Union Health Ministry, under a Centrally-sponsored scheme to establish medical colleges attached with the existing referral or district hospitals, had asked the state government in 2014 to identify five locations for the purpose.
Rs 189 crore for each college was sanctioned with a 90:10 (Centre: state) funding pattern, including Rs 69 crore for construction of the college building, Rs 40 crore for construction of hostels and residential facilities for the students and faculty members, Rs 30 crore for upgradation of the teaching method and Rs 50 crore for procurement of machinery and equipment.
The Union ministry has released over Rs 21 crore as the first installment for the construction of three colleges and upgradation of the district hospitals at Baramulla, Anantnag and Rajouri.
Mehbooba was also shown the detailed construction plan and campus layout of the colleges and was told that the work at the three sites in Baramulla, Anantnag and Rajouri would start soon, said the spokesman, adding that she directed the officials to ensure that each component of the projects was completed within the stipulated time so that no cost overruns accrued.