BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure immediate release of funds for timely completion of construction of five new medical colleges in the State.
The Government had taken up construction of five new medical colleges in the State with a project cost of Rs 189 crore each under Centrally sponsored scheme having a funding sharing pattern of 75:25 by the Centre and State.
The Chief Minister said admission in the new medical colleges for MBBS students has been scheduled to commence from 2017-18 academic session. “My Government on its part has made adequate budget provision for the project despite State’s financial crunch as completion of the medical colleges will go a long way in addressing shortage of doctors in the State,” Naveen said in a letter to the Prime Minister.
A revised estimate of Rs 2450.9 crore has been submitted to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for the five medical colleges for capital expenditure, equipment and manpower, the Chief Minister said and added that the response from the Ministry is awaited. The medical colleges will be set up in Koraput, Balangir, Puri, Balasore and Baripada.
Centre has so far released only Rs 55 crore in three instalments. “If the required funds are not released to the State in time, construction of these five new medical colleges will be delayed leading to continued shortage of doctors in Odisha,” the Chief Minister said.
Naveen said his request to Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare JP Nadda in September, 2015 for release of funds for the medical colleges has yielded no result.
“It is requested that the revised estimate for the medical colleges be approved and the Centre’s share (75 per cent) released immediately for timely operationalisation of the institutions in the larger public interest,” Naveen added.