The debate over shifting of the proposed super-speciality hospital in West Bengal from Raiganj in North Dinajpur to Kalyani in Nadia district came into focus on Thursday with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee making it clear that forcible acquisition of land for the project was a strict no-no.
Addressing a gathering at North Dinajpur on the second day of her five-day tour of North Bengal, Mamata said: “Do not listen to the canards and campaigns aimed at maligning the government…. Politics has been played for a long time over the AIIMS-type hospital project.... We need 100 acres of land. Give me the land and we will set it up. But, I will not allow forcible acquisition of land from farmers.”
During her tour to Malda and North Dinajpur, Didi listed out various developmental schemes launched by the 15-month-old government. She also took the opportunity to reach out to the masses in the predominantly Congress support base with an eye on the crucial panchayat polls.
Mamata also promised polytechnics, farmers’ markets, multi-speciality hospitals and model schools in both districts.
Meanwhile, Congress MP from Raiganj Deepa Dasmunsi accused the CM of playing politics over the hospital issue. “The CM is the one who has played politics (over the project). The Centre announced two hospitals in 2009. One was in Uttar Pradesh and the other in West Bengal,” said Deepa.
Since then, the Congress has been pushing for setting up of the super-speciality hospital -- a pet project of Congress leader Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi -- in Raiganj.
“We hope the CM does not dash the hopes of North Dinajpur residents…. All the announcements that she made were related to the Union Government schemes, which the state must implement,” Deepa added.