The under-construction MCH project at Bhangabari in Bhawanipatna. (Photo | EPS)
The under-construction MCH project at Bhangabari in Bhawanipatna. (Photo | EPS)

MCH project at Bhangabari limps towards deadline

While the medical college complex is still under construction, work on the hospital has come to a standstill since February this year.

BHAWANIPATNA:  Nearly five years after its foundation stone was laid, the much-hyped medical college and hospital (MCH) project at Bhangabari on the outskirts of Bhawanipatna is yet to reach the finish line.

The stone of the proposed MCH was laid in November, 2016 and construction work started two years later in 2018. The project was expected to be completed by December, 2020 but the pandemic has put brakes on its progress since March last year.

While the medical college complex is still under construction, work on the hospital has come to a standstill since February this year.

The project initially involved construction of a 100-seat medical college and 500-bed hospital across 26.81 acre and 8.17 acre of land respectively on a dairy farm of the Veterinary department along NH-26 in Bhangabari.

The State government allotted Rs 220.74 crore for the proposed medical college complex and Tata Project Limited was entrusted the task to execute the work which included construction of hostels, staff quarters and other infrastructure. 

For the hospital, the government signed an MoU with Vedanta which was to construct the facility with an investment of Rs 120 crore through contract agency Gannon Dunkerley.

But in the last one and a half years, the agency could manage to complete less than 15 per cent construction work following which the MoU was cancelled in February 2021. Since then, there has been no progress in the project.

Meanwhile, as per norms of the National Medical Commission (NMC), the bed strength of the proposed hospital was raised from 500 to 650 for the 100-seat medical college. After the cancellation of MoU, the balance work will now be undertaken by the State government. 

The Public Works department, Bhawanipatna received the necessary documents and design from Vedanta in April.

Sources said the detailed revised estimate of around Rs 300 crore is under process and likely to be submitted to the government by July 21 this year. 

After the bed strength was increased, the district administration allotted an additional 3.5 acre of land besides the earlier 8.5 acre to accommodate other essential infrastructure like attendant rest shed, Aahar centre, infection ward, washing STP, parking shed, etc.  

With these additions, the revised project estimate will be submitted to the government for administrative approval this month. 

The 100-seat medical college is now under construction at Bhangabari and the deadline for its completion has been extended to December 31, 2021.

Though around Rs 159 crore of the allotted budget has been spent so far, there is uncertainty over early functioning of the medical college as there is no progress in the hospital project.

Contacted, PWD executive engineer Ajit Babu said due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the supply of raw materials from both outside and inside the State for construction work has been badly hit. Besides, there is a labour crunch since March, 2020. 

These factors have affected the progress of the medical college project. However, once the administrative approval is given, the hospital work will start and be completed in time, he added.

Plan details

  • Foundation stone laid in 2016

  • Construction starts in 2018

  • New deadline: December 31, 2021

  • MoU with Vedanta for the hospital cancelled in February, 2021

  • Medical college budget Rs 220.74 crore

  • Cost of hospital project hiked from Rs 120 crore to Rs 300 crore

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