MADURAI: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) said that the loan agreement between India and Japan for funding the construction of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Madurai is likely to be signed by December. This the ministry revealed in reply to an RTI petition filed by Tenkasi-based R Pandiaraja on the status of the AIIMS in Madurai.
Pandiaraja said that the project, coming up at Thoppur, has not taken off even 19 months after the foundation-stone-laying ceremony because the Centre was waiting for funds from the Japanese government.
According to the RTI reply received on Monday, the construction of AIIMS was at various stages in the cities of 15 states, including Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and few others. On the status of AIIMS in Tamil Nadu, the ministry stated that the project was worth Rs 1,264 crore and the deadline for the completion of construction was September 2022; the executing agency has not been appointed yet, it further said.
Speaking to TNIE, Pandiaraja said that, in a similar RTI response he received on July 24, the MOHFW had stated that the project in Madurai would be completed in 45 months. “The September 2022 deadline mentioned by the Ministry in the recent RTI response is far-fetched.
A project-completion deadline is calculated since the commencement of construction works, which usually follows the foundation-stone laying ceremony. It has, however, been 19 months since the foundation stone was laid in January 2019, and the wait for finance from the Japanese government continues.
Even if the loan agreement is signed in December, it is highly unlikely that the construction will be completed in a mere 23 months,” he added, adding that while AIIMS facilities coming up in the other 14 states are directly funded by the Centre, that in TN is being funded by foreign country.
Other salient points
- In Madurai, the site has been finalised
- Pre-investment work is in progress
- Process initiated for availing of loan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
- Preparatory survey by JICA Mission commenced in February this year
- Loan agreement is likely to be signed by December this year, subject to approval of governments of India and Japan