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Ramesh push for Cardinal dream

Ranchi/ Dumka, Jan. 31: Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh today promised to turn the dream of Cardinal Telesphore P. Toppo into a reality by setting up the country’s second biggest medical college in Jharkhand in the coming years.

“I will meet state officials as well as church officials tomorrow to understand the proposal and modalities to establish second chapter of St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences in Jharkhand. The existing academy in Bangalore is managed by Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), which is ready to fund the project in Jharkhand too,” the minister said during the inaugural ceremony of super speciality blocks at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi.

The Roman Catholic Church’s has been looking for a suitable plot for its proposed composite university project in the state for the last five years. The dream project will include a state-of-the-art hospital, a medical college, nursing training centre and law university.

In September last year, the minister had met Cardinal Toppo at Archbishop House on Purulia Road and assured him of all help in getting land for the project.

Moreover, Ramesh today said four new medical colleges would come in Jharkhand in another three and half years.

“Additional 500 medical seats will be available in the state once these colleges come up. This apart, the existing 100-bed hospitals will be upgraded to 150-bed ones and similarly, 150-bed facilities will have 200 seats,” he said.

In his inaugural speech, state health minister Rajendra Prasad Singh said 75 six-bed hospitals and 12 community health centres (30 beds each) were ready and would be started by February 20.

“These will come as a major boost to rural healthcare,” he said.

Singh added that he had already given nod for recruitment of 888 doctors.

Earlier in the day, Ramesh and Singh inaugurated a 55-bed building at Rajmahal in Sahebganj district.

The existing facilities of the sub-division hospital will now be shifted to the new building.

After the inauguration, the ministers addressed a public meeting at local Charwaha grounds.

But, lack of enthusiasm among local Congress cadres turned the meeting into a damp squib. There were hardly two thousands people at grounds, prompting the Congress leaders to cut short their speech and fly back to the state capital.

Apparently, party workers are not happy with the leadership’s decision to support a RJD candidate in the Rajya Sabha polls.

Initially, former Assembly Speaker Alamgir Alam was the Congress’s probable candidate.