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Cong bats for medical college

Balangir, June 26: The Congress today demanded that the state government should initiate measures to set up a medical college of its own, not a private one, in this district headquarters township.

People of this town have been demanding a government medical college here for the last 13 years.

Congress leader Narasingha Mishra today said that if the state government decided to establish a medical college of its own here, it could avail a central assistance of about 50 per cent of the project cost.

He said: “The state government’s initiative for a private medical college will not serve the interest of the people of this area. If a private medical college comes up here, neither will the local people get the benefit of healthcare service from it nor will they get the chance to study there. The government should, therefore, discard the idea of setting up a private medical college and decide to establish a medical college of its own instead.”

Assuring central government assistance if a state-owned medical college came up in the town, Mishra said he had personally spoken to the Union health minister regarding this.

Mishra, who was the chairman of the Western Odisha Development Council in 1999, had conceived the idea of establishing a medical college and hospital in this town. The development council had also obtained a no-objection certificate from the state government for this. It had even started construction of the administrative building of the college.

Some 25 acres were provided for the proposed medical college near Gandhrel on the outskirts of the town and the council had spent Rs 27 lakh for the project. It was, however, stopped when the Naveen Patnaik government came to power in 2000.

“Had the medical college come up here, it would have been able to provide better and more affordable healthcare service to the local people. But unfortunately, the state government is now planning to handover the project to a private party,” said Mishra.