Balangir yet to get a medical college: The Telegraph

June 29, 2011 at 11:39 am Leave a comment

Balangir, June 27: The twelve-year-old dream project of a medical college in Balangir is yet to materialise. The ambitious project was taken up by the Western Orissa Development Council (WODC) way back in 1999.

The state government had entered into agreement and signed MoUs with at least three private parties for the medical college in the last seven years. While two of them backed out of the project, the government cancelled the MoU of the third as they didn’t show interest even after long time.

In 1999, the then chairman of WODC Narasingha Mishra had conceived the idea of a medical college and hospital in Balangir. For this, WODC had obtained a no-objection certificate from the state government and even started construction of the administrative building. Rs 27 lakh was spent from the WODC fund and 25 acres of land were provided for the proposed medical college near Gandhrel in the outskirts of the town.

The project was stopped when the Naveen Patnaik government came to power in 2000. “The medical college was primarily planned to provide better and cheaper health services keeping in view the economic condition of the people of this region, but the state government is now mulling handing over the project to some private party,” Mishra said.

WODC was reorganised and Ainthu Sahu took over as the new chairman of the council. Sahu soon announced that there would be three medical colleges in western Orissa — in Balangir, Rourkela and Bhawanipatna. He further announced that WODC would provide Rs 10 crore and 25 acres of land for each of the projects. However, nothing was done till 2004 when the Assembly election approached and government entered into an agreement with Hyderabad-based GSL Trust to set up the medical colleges in Balangir and Rourkela.

Accordingly, on February 7, 2004, Naveen laid the foundation stone of the medical college. The trust did nothing and backed out of the project after two years.

In 2007, the state government signed an MoU with Ghaziabad-based Jesser Foundation to set up the hospital and college. But the government had to cancel the MoU as the foundation did not do anything even after one year. In 2008, the government again signed an MoU with the Pondicherry-based Balaji Trust.

Despite providing 40 acres of land, the trust did nothing. In 2009, the state had again invited a tender for the project and one RVS Educational Trust of Coimbatore expressed its desire to take up the project. But in February 2010 it expressed its inability to execute the project.

Minister for planning and coordination Anang Uday Singhdeo said the state government was serious about the project. “The state government is serious about setting up of the medical college in Balangir. We are working on it and would soon give you the good news,” he said recently.

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Entry filed under: Balangir, Balangir Medical College (WODC), Balangir-Titilagarh-Patanagarh, Health Care Facility, Higher Education Zone, Region watch.

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