8 yrs on, PGI centre in Ferozepur a non-starter

Outrage in public amid rising Covid cases, crumbling health infrastructure

8 yrs on, PGI centre in Ferozepur a non-starter

Anirudh Gupta

Ferozepur, May 3

Amid unprecedented spike in Covid cases juxtaposed with lack of proper facilities in state-run civil hospitals in this border region, there is public outrage against the inordinate delay in setting up of PGI satellite centre announced in 2013 during the fag end of the UPA-II regime.

While the PGI satellite centre in Sangrur, which was announced around the same time, has been constructed and the OPD operations have even started, the one in Ferozepur has apparently fallen victim to political slugfest. Even the AIIMS-Bathinda, which was announced much later, has already started operations.

On January 1, Congress MLA Parminder Singh Pinki claimed to have laid the foundation stone of the centre, but except the boundary wall the project has not gained momentum to date. Ferozepur MP Sukhbir Singh Badal had also announced that the formal stone laying ceremony would take place on Baisakhi, but nothing moved on the ground.

An estimated Rs 490 crore is likely to be spent on the project, which will have 400-bed hospital besides medical college and auxiliary services.

The project remained in controversies over the selection of its site for almost six years and subsequently over acquisition of the land, which delayed the work. In September last year, the request for proposal for its construction was issued and tenders were floated in the first week of October, but still the construction did not start.

“Around Rs 2,000 crore will be spent on this project, which will make it one of the biggest projects ever approved in the state,” said MLA Pinki, blaming the BJP-led Centre for the delay. He said previously, the SAD-BJP government delayed the allotment of land and gave preference to Bathinda-AIIMS, and now the Centre was delaying it.

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