TENKASI: Not just the proposed All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Madurai, but six 100-bed Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) hospitals announced across the State are yet to be constructed.
According to an RTI reply received by the activist Pandiaraja, the ESIC had given ‘in principle’ approval to the six new hospitals (Tiruppur in 2005, Sriperumpudur in 2010, Thoothukudi and Nagercoil in 2012, and Dindigul and Vaniyampadi in 2019).
“Though approval for the Tiruppur ESIC Hospital was given 15 years ago and Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid a foundation stone in 2019, the Union government has not started construction. This city alone has about 4 lakh ESIC members. A hospital can be built for 50,000 members each as per ESIC norms,” said Pandiaraja.
In his reply to Pandiaraja, Central Public Information Officer, ESIC, M Arul Raj said the cost of Tiruppur hospital is `81.34 crore and the project is to be completed in 540 days. “The cost of other ESIC hospitals and target date for starting construction are not available in this office. The ESIC has given an approval only for construction of a compound wall in Sriperumbudur. The M/s Central Public Works Department has been identified as the contractor for Tiruppur and Thoothukudi hospitals,” said the reply.
Raj said land allotment is underway for construction of the hospitals in Nagercoil, Dindigul and Vaniyambadi. “However, 7.46 acres in Tiruppur, 5.12 acres in Sriperumbudur and 5 acres in Thoothukudi have already been allotted,” reads the reply.
Labour Secretary R Kirlosh Kumar said his department has been asking the Centre to build the hospitals. “We are discussing this with the Centre’s representatives in every meeting. With respect to land allocation, we are in touch with the collectors concerned. Since the land identified in Nagercoil and Dindigul was unsuitable, we are searching in other parts of the district,” he added.