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Bhagalpur new address for paramedical college

- Proposed institute caught in wrangle of land acquisition, encroachment & central funds crunch

The proposed paramedical institute to be set up in Patna has been shifted to Bhagalpur owing to purported problems regarding land acquisition, encroachment and central funds.

In 2007, the Union health ministry decided to set up six regional paramedical institutes in the country at an estimated cost of Rs 1,300 crore. Bihar was the only state chosen from the eastern zone, with the other places being Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

While Delhi and Chennai (Tamil Nadu) were chosen to establish central para-medical institutes, the remaining were to function as regional centres.

A team of the Union health ministry had even visited the state earlier and had identified Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH) where the institute was proposed to be set up by 2009 and the first session was likely to begin from August 2009. A seven-member team of the central ministry led by the then joint secretary (health), Prabir Krishnan, had visited the state in 2008 and identified NMCH where the institute was proposed to be set up.

Talking to The Telegraph, NMCH superintendent Dr Santosh Kumar said: “The institute has been transferred to Bhagalpur now. The institute could have benefited the people of the state capital immensely.”

However, the project is yet to roll out even after the state government made several requests to the Union health ministry. The state government had even allotted land for the proposed institute at NMCH but a clearance from the central government is awaited. The state also blamed the Centre for not implementing the project.

The Bihar government had allotted 20 acres for the institute and a team of the central health ministry inspected the site but the work on the proposed institute is yet to start. Sources said non-release of funds from the Centre was another factor responsible for delay in the project.

Apart from the 20 acres earmarked for proposed buildings like directorate of tuberculosis control, food testing lab, pharmacy institute, a portion of NMCH was also offered for the institute to be set up.

However, the blame game continued between the Centre and the state for non-execution of the project. Parts of the land on which the institute was to be set up was encroached upon.

Of late, several residential premises have sprung up on the proposed site. The land where the institute was to be built is submerged in water. On the directive of Patna High Court, an anti-encroachment drive was launched and a fresh survey of the land was started identifying the boundary of the proposed institute but nothing happened thereafter.

Initially, the proposed institute would offer 11 courses, including two-year diploma courses in radiography and imaging, operation theatre, medical laboratory, blood bank and electrocardiogram (ECG) technology. It is also proposed to impart a one-year training in skilled birth attendant, besides offering a certificate course in pre-hospital trauma technology.