5 years on, AIIMS Kashmir sees no progress on ground

The All India Institute of Medicine Science (AIIMS) Kashmir has seen no progress on the ground in the last five years since it was announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Two such institutes— one each for Kashmir and Jammu – entailed a central assistance of Rs 2000 crore each.

The institute to be established at Awantipora in southern Kashmir is part of the Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) which was announced on 7 November 2015.  In early 2019, the central government approved the project with a cost of Rs 1828 crore.

While the project in Kashmir is still at ‘tendering stage’, in Jammu some physical work has been done it.

Speaking to Greater Kashmir, Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar said: “I don’t have any offhand information about the project, but recently I reviewed the progress of AIIMS in Jammu and other health sector projects. Our thrust is on ensuring completion of the health sector project within stipulated time frame.”

Financial Commissioner Health and Medical Education, Atal Dulloo said: “It is a fact that there is no physical progress on the AIIMS in Kashmir. Recently I had enquired from the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) about the progress, they had issued a tender and I am not aware whether allotment has been made or not so far.”

CPWD is the executing agency for both the institutes.

A senior executive of the CPWD said the work will begin soon after the tender is allotted.

Nearly 1886 kanals of land have since been handed over to CPWD for construction of the AIIMS at Awantipora.

Although issues like land acquisition, rehabilitation and compensation of the people affected by the project have been belatedly resolved, the construction agency is yet to finish the fencing of the project site.

According to officials, Rs 87 crore has been released by the government for compensation, road construction and other infrastructural utilities for the project.

The AIIMS, according to official information, is supposed to have around 750 hospital beds and would cater to around 1,500 OPD cases on daily basis.

The project besides providing super specialty healthcare would also have helped Kashmir in human resource development in medical science. A 100 MBBS and 60 B Sc (Nursing) seats were supposed to be allotted to the institute besides creation of thousands of technical and non-technical jobs.

Pertinently, the government of India has set a January 2025 deadline to complete the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in south Kashmir’s Awantipora area.