Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal today alleged that the Punjab government was deliberately delaying the commissioning of Rs. 925cr AIIMS Bathinda project due to "petty politics".
Badal alleged Punjab CM Amarinder Singh got jittery when the Union Health Ministry announced that it would start construction on the site in June this year and start Out Patient Department (OPD) for diagnostics in February 2019.
Congress government feels SAD-BJP alliance would get political credit: Badal
Badal alleged that the Congress government in Punjab had refused to give statutory approvals and make the AIIMS project site encumbrance-free.
"It seems (the) start of medical facilities for the people of the region was not to the liking of the Congress government which felt the SAD-BJP alliance would get political credit for the same," stated the Union Food Processing Minister.
Union Health Minister writes to CM Singh seeking his intervention
"It is a shame that the people of the Malwa region are being denied advanced medical care, including much-needed cancer treatment, because of such despicable anti-people thinking of the Congress party," Badal said.
"Union Health Minister JP Nadda has again written a letter to chief minister Capt. Amarinder Singh yesterday asking him to personally intervene to make the AIIMS project a reality," she added.
Deliberate go-slow tactic of the Congress government
Bathinda MP, Harsimrat, said that there could be no other reason for the "deliberate go-slow tactic of the Congress government" despite the fact that she had repeatedly written letters detailing approvals and civil works needed to start construction on the 177-acre AIIMS project site.
Despite follow-ups, Punjab government didn't give necessary approvals: Nadda's letter
In the letter, Nadda disclosed how HITES, the executing agency which was awarded the Bathinda AIIMS project, completed all documentation and submitted the same to Punjab authorities for obtaining statutory approvals from state bodies like State's Environment Impact Assessment Authority, Badal said.
She said Nadda pointed out that despite follow-ups by senior Ministry officials, the Punjab government had not given the necessary approvals.
Punjab govt's lackluster approach would delay AIIMS-Bhatinda project: Badal
"Mr. Nadda also pointed out that the (project) site was not being made encumbrance free," Badal said.
She claimed that the Congress government didn't want the OPD facility to start at AIIMS, Bathinda by February 2019.
She also said the state government's lackluster approach would delay the start of the medical session from Jul'19 and the completion of the entire facility by 2020.
Badal says she'll take people's help if govt doesn't act
Badal said she tried her best to take up the issue with CM Amarinder and also with the Bathinda district administration.
Nadda also urged the CM to create conducive conditions for starting work on the prestigious project.
"In case the government does not act...I will be forced to go to the people and take their help to force the government to act," Badal added.