BHUBANESWAR: The State Government on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Vedanta Group here on Tuesday for establishment of a medical college and hospital at Bhawanipatna in Kalahandi district.The 100-seat medical college and 500-bed hospital to be built at a cost of around `350 crore will go a long way in ensuring quality health care for people of Kalahandi and adjoining districts of Rayagada, Nabarangpur, Nuapada and Kandhamal. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who was present at the MoU signing ceremony, directed officials to expedite works and ensure timely completion.
“Nine new medical colleges are being established to ensure affordable, comprehensive and quality health care to people and tackle the shortage of doctors,” he said.However, the pact was strongly criticised by BJP which termed it as another attempt by the ruling BJD to deceive the people of the Western Odisha district.State BJP vice-president Sameer Mohanty said, Naveen laid the foundation stone of the medical college at a grand ceremony in November, 2016. “He had promised that construction will be completed by 2018 and admission of the first batch for undergraduate medical courses will start from 2019-20 academic session. If he failed to keep his promise who will trust him again,” he said.
Mohanty wondered why it took so long to sign an MoU with Vedanta when its chairman Anil Agarwal had made a commitment to provide financial assistance to the tune of Rs 100 crore for the proposed medical college at Bhangabari near Bhawanipatna.He said the State Government is not making any serious efforts to restart the medical college at Jaring set up by Selvam Educational and Charitable Trust of Tamil Nadu. Besides, the Government is not seriously pursuing the case registered against the president of the Trust for violating the MoU signed with Western Odisha Development Council, he added.