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Govt team inspects AIIMS plots

A state government team led by health secretary Moloy Kumar De inspected on Friday two plots for the proposed AIIMS in Kalyani .

One of the plots is on the National Volunteer Force (NVF) training school campus and the other in the nearby Basantapur area, on the outskirts of Kalyani.

Each plot is spread across 150 acres, as stipulated by the health ministry for the project.

State health department sources said the NVF plot was being preferred for the AIIMS. “We liked both plots but are more keen on the one in the NVF compound,” said an official accompanying De.

The NVF campus is close to Kalyani railway station and adjacent to the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics and Gandhi Hospital. The plot had earlier been earmarked for a hospital — Syed Nurul Hassan Post Graduate Medical Institute — that never took off.

“The location and facilities are satisfactory and we’ll soon send a report to the chief minister. After she gives her nod, the file will be sent to the health ministry,” said a senior official of the state health department.

The inspection team found the plot’s road connectivity, water supply and drainage system satisfactory.

De examined the land documents and talked in detail about the plot to Nadia district magistrate P.B. Salim.

The Basantapur plot, despite its easy accessibility from National Highway 34, may not be ideal for the project, officials feel. “The major factor that goes against the plot is its location — it’s a bit away from Kalyani town,” said an official.

A central team from Delhi will visit Kalyani once the state government finalises the location of the project.

“We are waiting for the state government’s report. Once it formally earmarks a plot, we’ll send our team for technical inspection,” said a health ministry official.

The state government’s decision about the plot, he pointed out, would be final.

The Mamata Banerjee government has preferred Kalyani to Raiganj for the AIIMS because of its proximity to Calcutta and the presence of the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics and the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research in the vicinity.

“The AIIMS will need top professionals on permanent posting. It would have been difficult to get such professionals had the location been far from the city,” said an official.

It takes less than two hours to reach Kalyani by road from Calcutta. The town is about 30 km from Calcutta airport. Raiganj, on the other hand, is more than 400km away.