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Cancer centre set to take off

The foundation stone for the city’s “largest composite cancer hospital” will be laid on January 10, 2003, by chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. The VJM Cancer Hospital & Research Centre, at the heart of a mixed-use project on the city’s southern fringes, is being set up by Vishwa Jagriti Mission Trust (Calcutta), a charitable organisation.

The Rs 100-crore project, planned over nine acres of land on M.G. Road, near the Tollygunge Metro station, has been waiting to take off, pending urban land-ceiling clearance. “We hope to get relief for at least four acres by this weekend, following a series of inspections carried out by the SDO Sadar, Alipore. This will enable us to begin work on the 15-storey hospital building,” Amarnath Shroff, vice-president of the trust, told Metro on Monday.

Shroff is confident of completing the 1,80,000-sq-ft super-speciality cancer hospital “inside 18 months from the date work begins”.

The members of the trust have organised an “inspection-cum-approval” visit of the project site on November 8 by Union health minister Shatrughan Sinha, along with state sports and transport minister Subhas Chakraborty, health minister Surjya Kanta Mishra and health secretary Asim Barman, besides leading oncologists.

“The hospital will have the latest imaging systems, genetic assessment and marker-study facilities to provide not only early detection, but also the best therapeutic programmes,” says A.P. Majumdar, senior cancer surgeon and chairman of the hospital’s medical board.

“We are introducing a diagnostic tool for the first time in India, which can predict possibility of cancer in a patient four years in advance,” says Shroff.

Once the trust gets land-ceiling clearance for the remaining five acres, it plans to go ahead with the other facilities. These include a general hospital, a school, an old-age home, an ayurvedic research centre, a charitable homoeopathy dispensary, a 25,000-sq-ft multi-purpose auditorium, a 50-apartment block to house patients’ kin, and a special wing for the terminally ill.

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