After inordinate delay which raised doubts about the fate of the establishment of an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Kashmir, a high-level team from the Government of India is finally inspecting the site for the proposed tertiary-care health facility in the Valley next week, sources told Greater Kashmir on Tuesday.
The team of experts that was supposed to visit the Valley in December shall now inspect the site for the AIIMS at Awantipora in south Kashmir's Pulwama district between March 8-10. The site has been identified by the former Minister for Health and Medical Education, ChoudharyLal Singh.
"The team is expected to visit in the second week of March to take a call on the proposed site," a source said.
The Commissioner/Secretary, Health and Medical Education Department, Dr M K Bhandari said: "The AIIMS inspection team has telephonically confirmed to us that it will be in Kashmir between March 8 and 10, although we are yet to receive a written communication in the matter."
He said his department was trying to "expedite the formalities (for the AIIMS). Everything will be done in time."
The team had earlier announced that the inspection of Kashmir site will take place in mid-December last year alongside the team's visit to proposed sites for a similar institute in Jammu.
Authorities have identified 1600 kanal of land at Awantipora for the AIIMS. The land, as per District Administration, is "as per the requirements."
Deputy Commissioner PulwamaNeeraj Kumar said: "We have enough land at the spot. Though much of the land is state-owned, some land would still need to be acquired. Once the site is finalized, we will start the process of land acquisition and prepare a site plan."
Awantipora, as per officials, has been chosen for AIIMS "keeping in view its proximity to the Srinagar-Jammu highway, railways and the proposed Medical College in Anantnag."
The inspection team includes Ali Rizvi, Joint Secretary MOHFW; Medical Superintendent, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education Research (PGIMER) Chandigarh, MukeshBajpai; senior architect of Central Design Bureau for Medical and Health Buildings; Superintending Engineer AIIMS New Delhi, BikramjeetChoudary, Under Secretary MOHFW and Rajiv Jaiswal, Section Officer MOHFW.