Palampur, August 12
About 75 per cent buildings are lying vacant in Vivekananda Medical Research Trust (VMRT), which is running a super-speciality hospital in Palampur.
At present, only 25 per cent buildings are in use. Three medical colleges, set up by state government in Chamba, Hamirpur and Nahan, lack classrooms hostels and labs.
The VMRT is the dream project of BJP leader Shanta Kumar, who is also the chairman of the trust. In 2009, the trust had entered into a partnership with the Jai Parkash Group of Industries, which promised a hospital with specialties like cardio surgery, endocrinology and gastroenterology.
In the past 10 years, the group could start only one super-speciality wing in the hospital, which is why 75 per cent buildings remain vacant to date. The VMRT failed to fulfil its commitments.
Several organisations and the general public have time and again demanded that the government should take over the institution and start a medical college here so that vacant buildings are put to use. “The state government should start negotiations with the trust since it has provided land for the trust and public money should not go down the drain,” they stated.
As an MP, Shanta Kumar made all efforts to hand over the institution to the state government for setting up a medical college. He had given his consent to the state government for taking over the VMRT sprawling over 60 acres. Its value is Rs 100 crore.
Sources said there was a liability of over Rs 30 crore towards the JP group, which it had spent on the renovation of buildings in 2009 and 2010. In case, if it is vested with state government, it has to reimburse the amount to JP. The state is unwilling to pay the liability and no headway was made to take over the VMRT. The proposal to set up the VMRT was mooted by Shanta Kumar in 1992 when he was the Chief Minister. The medical institute was proposed to provide quality medical care to the people of the lower region of the state where there were no medical facilities.
Earlier, the project was a joint venture of the state government and Apollo Group of Hospitals, who had to run this institution through a trust.
Dream project of Ex-Chief Minister
The VMRT is the dream project of BJP leader Shanta Kumar, who is also the chairman of the trust.
In 2009, the trust had entered into a partnership with the Jai Parkash Group of Industries, which promised a hospital with specialties like cardio surgery and gastroenterology.
As an MP, Shanta Kumar made all efforts to hand over the institution to the state government for setting up a medical college. He had given his consent to the state government for taking over the VMRT sprawling over 60 acres.
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