Sudip Bandopadhyay in Siliguri. (Kundan Yolmo)
Nov. 18: The state government has decided to shift the proposed super-speciality hospital on the lines of the AIIMS from North Dinajpurs Raiganj to Kalyani in Nadia.
The state government has now decided that the AIIMS-like hospital will come up in Nadia, Union junior health minister and Trinamul leader Sudip Bandopadhyay told The Telegraph in Calcutta.
Earlier in the day, Bandopadhyay who was in Siliguri, said the specialised hospital would come up in a place where it would benefit the maximum number of people.
Writers Buildings sources said the Centre, which has approved the project and sanctioned Rs 800 crore for it, had to be informed about the change in the hospital site.
Congress MP Deepa Das Munshi has already launched an agitation in her constituency Raiganj in support of the hospital there.
But sources close to chief minister Mamata Banerjee said Deepa, with whom she does not see eye to eye, would not be given an opportunity to gain popularity in north Bengal.
The AIIMS-like hospital was mooted for Raiganj at the behest of Priya Ranjan Das Munshi, who was then the information and broadcasting minister. Deepa (his wife) is reaping its full political benefit, a Trinamul leader said. She knows that if the hospital is set up in Raiganj she will gain a lot of political mileage in north Bengal. It is hardly fair to expect Mamata to allow that especially since Deepa is forever saying nasty things about her.
Deepa today said the decision to deprive north Bengal of a specialised healthcare was a deep-rooted political conspiracy of Trinamul. North Bengal districts are still a Congress bastion and Trinamul wants to weaken us there by not allowing the hospital to come up in Raiganj, she said.
In August Mamata had said an AIIMS-like hospital would come up in Kalyani in Nadia and that the land for it had been identified. But she had not said anything about shifting it out of Raiganj.
Health department officials said more than 100 acres has been identified in Kalyani. Kalyani, where more land is available, is a much better location than Raiganj, said a senior official.
Writers sources said the government would have to inform the Centre if the hospital is shifted. But that will not come in the way of the project, said a source. The location of the facility in the state is not the Centres concern.