Members of the central team and district officials inspect the site near Raiganj on Tuesday. (Nantu Dey)
Raiganj, Oct. 12: A central team today visited the site of the proposed AIIMS-like institution here and collected the relevant information about the plot of land from the North Dinajpur district magistrate.
This is the first visit by a central team after Delhi announced setting up the AIIMS-like institution in Raiganj last year to bolster the healthcare service in north Bengal. The district authorities had identified 125 acres for the project.
The three-member team comprising Anukul Chakraborty, a professor from the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, L.P. Srivastav, an engineer, and Chandrasekhar, an architect from the Union health and family welfare ministry, visited the site at Sitgram, 12km from Raiganj town, along National Highway 34. They spent nearly half an hour at the spot.
The officials landed at Bagdogra around 9.30am and came straight to the circuit house at Karanjora.
Lunch over, they had an hour-long discussion with district magistrate Sunil Dandapat and other senior officials including chief medical officer of health Partha Sarathi Bhattacharya.
The sabhadhipati of the North Dinajpur zilla parishad and local Congress leader Moqtar Ali Sardar and district party president Mohit Sengupta were also present at the meeting.
Around 3.45pm, the central team visited the site at Sitgram. DM Dandapat said the central team wanted to know if the district administration would be able to acquire the 125 acres already identified.
“We have told them that it will not be a difficult task as we have already taken the local panchayats into confidence,” the district magistrate said. The team had been given the copy of the soil test result of the land, he said.
District secretary of the CPM Bireswar Lahiri was, however, not amused at the arrival of the central team.
“We had too many central teams arriving here with too many projects in the past few years. But nothing transpired,” Lahiri said.
The CPM leader claimed that they had all along been demanding an AIIMS-like institution at Raiganj. “The visit of the central team was nothing but the Congress’s gimmick before the Assembly elections. Otherwise, how could a man like Mohit Sengupta attend a meeting which was purely administrative in nature,” Lahiri said.
Sengupta, however, said he had represented Congress MP from Raiganj Deepa Das Munshi at the meeting today. Das Munshi could not be present since she was not in town.