Madurai: The need for the immediate establishment of an AIIMS at Madurai has gathered force in Tamil Nadu, as major political parties of the state have come together to reinforce to the centre, the immediate need for the health facility. An agitation for the cause of Thoppur, Madurai being chosen as the preferred AIIMS location, was launched in the city, by Madurai District Tiny and Small-Scale Industries Association, under the banner ‘Makkal Iyakkam,’ on Wednesday.
The agitating group explained how the preferred site would benefit not only people from southern districts, but also those from parts of central districts such as Karur, Perambalur and Tiruchi.
Two years ago, the Union government had announced in its budget that AIIMS would be established in Tamil Nadu,on similar lines to the one in New Delhi. Last year, the Finance Ministry had allocated funds for it. However, due to ‘delay’ in land identification by the Tamil Nadu Government the project could not get off the ground.
As many as five locations, including Madurai, figured in the proposal. A study team from New Delhi had ‘favoured’ Madurai as its choice, as it had all the stipulated guideline requirements for the facility, which were absent at other locations.
Recently, when Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister, Edappadi’ K. Palaniswami went to New Delhi, he appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to establish AIIMS at Sengipatti in Thanjavur district.
Taken aback by the CM’s move, people and various organizations from the southern districts of the State have come together to urge the governments to reconsider the decision.This has resulted in an agitation in support of Madurai gaining momentum in the state.
Chief Coordinator V.S. Manimaran, who presided over the agitation speaking to Hindu said when Madurai was the acceptable location to all stakeholders, the sudden change of mind by the government, in suggesting another town, is only creating confusion and delay.