‘Everything is fine,’ implies Nagaland government’s explanation of medical school project | MorungExpress


Kohima, May 21 (MExN): All construction works for the Nagaland Medical College in Phriebagie, Kohima are in full swing, the state government clarified today, further ruling out failure of works or depletion of funds.

The college, now named Nagaland Institute of Medical Science and Research (NIMSR), was approved at an estimated cost of Rs 189 crore under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) in 2014, with a 90:10 funding scheme between the Center and State. .

As a result, the central government has already released its share of Rs 170.10 crore for the project.
In a statement released via DIPR, the state government denied reports that the project had been halted due to the depletion of funds.

Out of Rs 170.10 crore released by the center, Rs 77.73 crore has been utilized till date and the balance amount is available from the state government, it said.

The project was never founded nor did the funds run out as indicated, he claimed, indicating that “everything is fine” with the project.

Meanwhile, the state government maintained that it only approached the University of Nagaland, for no reason other than to seek the best college option.

“Considering the absence of national landmark institutions in the state and the limited financial and human resources, it is believed that the College of Medicine will be better run as a central institute, with the college possibly even coming under the control of the University of Nagaland, as practiced elsewhere,” the state government said.

“However, the central government has expressed its inability,” he added.

From NHAK to Phriebagie: No snail
Meanwhile, giving an overview of the project, the state government informed that the Union of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) approved the establishment of the Medical College in 2014 with a capacity of 100 MBBS seats at Kohima District Hospital (NHAK) at a cost of Rs 189 crore under the CSS for “establishment of new medical colleges by improving district/referral hospitals”.

According to program guidelines, one of the eligibility criteria was district hospitals/referral hospitals with a bed count of 200 or more, while private hospitals were not eligible.

Initially, the college was to operate from two plots – administrative, academic, hostels and staff quarters at Phriebagia, and the teaching hospital at NHAK, an arrangement permitted under National Medical Commission (NMC) regulations.

However, given the difficulty of developing NHAK into a 500-bed university hospital, a 3rd inspection criterion under NMC regulations, due to space constraints and unstable grounds on the NHAK campus, it was transferred to Phriebagia.

Construction of a 150-bed hospital in Phriebagia through state resources is nearing completion while the department has approached JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) for setting up a 400-bed teaching hospital, the state government informed.

Justifying the delay in the completion of the project, the state government further informed that although the Indian government approved the same in 2014, the land acquisition was not completed until February 2018 .

The master plan was approved in October 2018 and construction work started from 2019.

However, work execution has been severely affected during the COVID-19 pandemic, he added.

“Despite the initial delay, all works are in full swing, construction work is expected to be completed within this year,” he said.

To demonstrate that the project is gradually coming to an end, the state government further informed that a total of 60 positions in various categories, required for obtaining a Letter of Authorization (LOP) from the NMC, have already been created.

The posting for the post of director was already posted nationwide on May 11, and the posting for the remaining posts will be posted soon, he said.

Medical school status in Mon
As part of the establishment of the Medical College in Mon, the state government also informed that the central government has released Rs 232.23 crore out of an approved total cost of Rs 325 crore.

The state government acquired 90 acres of land in Mon village, about 3 km from the present Mon district hospital, he said.

Soil survey, contour survey work, preliminary site work including road construction, etc. were launched while tender documents and technical details for the remaining works were also discussed, he maintained.

According to the timetable finalized with the experts and the department, the work should start in the 3rd quarter of this year, he added.

HC’s regular reproach
It should be noted here that the Kohima Bench of the Gauhati High Court last April 12 faulted the state government, represented by the Chief Secretary, for failing to file an affidavit on the status of the Kohima Medical School as he ordered on February 22.

The February 22 order had directed the Chief Secretary of State to file a full affidavit showing how “the medical school project will be completed as soon as possible and how the government will ensure the college is started this year.”

The bench is currently hearing a batch of analogous Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on issues relating to quality healthcare services under the guidelines of Indian Public Health Standards in Nagaland, has regularly issued guidelines regarding the medical school.

Listing the case for a rehearing on July 27, the panel said CS had not filed the affidavit as “required by the date indicated, he (CS) together with the Principal Secretary, Health and family welfare, will appear in person.”

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