The Centre will not be able to meet the October 2012 deadline to start the super-speciality hospital at Jai Prakash Narayan All India Institute of Medical Sciences (JPNAIIMS) at Phulwarisharif, Patna.
The Centre, in its affidavit prepared by joint secretary of ministry of health and family welfare submitted before the high court on Wednesday, stated that the JPNAIIMS hospital can only be started in 2013.
The court on June 29, 2011, had fixed October 2, 2012, as the deadline to make the JPNAIIMS hospital operational.
Referring to a meeting held on June 28 by the Union health and family welfare ministry with health ministers and officials of all the six states where AIIMS hospital is being constructed, the affidavit — filed in the court through its counsel Vinay Kumar Pandey — stated: “It has been unanimously agreed by all the six states, including government of Bihar to commence academic session from September 2012 and start the hospital service from 2013 as it would not be possible to complete construction of the hospital during 2012.”
The affidavit, however, did not specify the month from which it would start providing treatment at JPNAIIMS hospital in 2013. The Centre reiterated its commitment to start the MBBS course at JPNAIIMS from September this year. “It has been making endeavours to start academic session at the institute from September. The process of selection of candidates for the first batch of MBBS has been completed. They are likely to join by mid-September,” the health ministry stated in its affidavit.
A division bench of Justice Prakash Chandra Verma and Justice Aditya Kumar Trivedi, which is hearing a PIL for early completion of AIIMS, was dissatisfied with the affidavit filed by the Centre, as it has retracted from its undertaking to start the hospital by October this year.
“Cancel the tenders awarded to current contractors and award the construction work to new contractors as the current contractors are making unnecessary delay,” the court made oral observation during the hearing.
The court passed the direction while hearing a PIL of council for protection of public rights and welfare filed through advocate Brajesh Kumar seeking expeditious completion of the project because the construction work was not completed within a stipulated time.
Brajesh submitted that doctors were supposed to join Guru Gobind Singh hospital in Patna City by July 25, according to the court’s directive but they have not joined so far.
During the course of hearing, the Centre also informed the court that the appointment process of doctors is going on. The interview process for appointment of doctors has been completed in seven departments, except endocrinology and radiology sections.
The court directed that Patna district magistrate would function as deputy director/joint director/director (administration) of JPNAIIMS in addition to his duty as DM.