The high court on Wednesday directed the central government to file an undertaking on the completion of the construction of AIIMS-Patna.
The court also expressed its displeasure over non-submission of the undertaking by the contractor, BL Kashyap & Sons Ltd.
“The secretary of Union health and family welfare shall give an undertaking regarding completion of the hospital building by the contractor,” said the division bench comprising Justice Prakash Chandra Verma and Justice Aditya Kumar Trivedi during the hearing of a PIL.
“Withdraw the work (from the contractor), otherwise the court would summon the secretary seeking cause,” the bench also said.
Council for Protection of Public Right and Welfare, an NGO, filed the petition through its counsel Brajesh Kumar, seeking expeditious completion of Jai Prakash Narayan All India Institute of Medical Sciences (JPNAIIMS) within a stipulated timeframe. It wants the hospital operational by October 2, 2012 — the date fixed by the court on June 29, 2011.
According to the court’s directive, the contractor had to submit an undertaking giving detailed schedule of construction of JPNAIIMS. The contractor’s counsel, Raj Kishore, informed the court that the undertaking had not been filed but an application giving detailed schedule for completion of the hospital had been provided to the court.
Vinay Kumar Pandey, the counsel for the Centre, told the court that the Union government had served a notice on the contractor. The court asked the counsel: “Why had you (Centre) been delaying action (against the contractor)?” BL Kashyap & Sons Ltd had to submit a time-schedule in the form of an undertaking to the court.
The Centre in its affidavit had informed the court on August 1 that it would not be able to meet the October 2012 deadline (as set by the high court in its order dated June 29, 2011) to start the super-speciality hospital at JPNAIIMS at Phulwarisharif in Patna.
It, however, said the hospital could be started only in 2013. In its affidavit, the Centre had iterated its commitment to start the MBBS course at JPNAIIMS from September 2012. The classes for the first batch of medical students began on September 25.
During hearing, the state government’s counsel, Shashi Bhushan Kumar, informed the court that the state had given its consent on October 4 to appoint Patna district magistrate as the joint director (administration) of AIIMS-Patna.