Naveen announces medical college for Kalahandi
Bhubaneswar, Aug. 30: The Odisha government will set up a medical college in Kalahandi with the help of the Vedanta Group that will extend infrastructure support of Rs 100 crore, chief minister Naveen Patnaik announced today.
The announcement, which followed a meeting between the chief minister and Vedanta chief Anil Agarwal here, came close on the heels of outrage over a tribal having to carry his wife’s body on his shoulders from a hospital in the district for 16km.
“The proposed medical college will be run by the government,” Patnaik said. A medical college will also ensure a mandatory 500-bed hospital.
Kalahandi, known for acute backwardness and poverty, does not have a medical college. The Sardar Rajas Medical College Hospital & Research Centre, set up by a private promoter in 2013, was shut down last year as the Medical Council of India withdrew recognition, citing lack of infrastructure.
“A medical college and hospital is needed in Kalahandi. We will provide infrastructure support worth Rs 100 crore,” Agarwal said.
The government will provide the required land and manage the medical college and the hospital.
Vedanta, which has been running a 1-million-tonne alumina refinery in Lanjigarh in the district, has been assured by the state government of raw material through the state-run Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC).
The refinery has been running only at 40 per cent of its capacity because of non-availability of bauxite ore. “We have been assured by the state government that we will be provided long-term raw material linkage through the OMC,” Agarwal said.
Steel and mines minister Prafulla Mallick said: “We will provide raw materials to the Vedanta from Kodingamali bauxite reserve in Koraput district.”