3 sites identified for establishment of AIIMS in Jammu

Mohinder Verma

JAMMU, Aug 28: The Jammu district administration has identified three sites for establishment of AIIMS and all the relevant papers have been furnished to the Divisional Commissioner Jammu for submission to the Administrative Secretary of the Health and Medical Education Department and then to the Union Health Ministry.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that 200 acres of land as desired by the Union Health Ministry has been identified in Kot Bhalwal as well as in Nagrota while as in Sunjwan-Raika area the land more than 200 acres has been recommended by the revenue functionaries for establishment of AIIMS.
“Major chunk of land at all the three locations falls in forests but there would not be any hitch in finalizing any one of them because diversion of forest land for non-forestry purposes particularly for projects of much public importance has become a routine not only in Jammu and Kashmir but in other parts of the country also”, they said.
The process to identify suitable sites for establishment of AIIMS was set into motion by the Deputy Commissioner Jammu, Simrandeep Singh on August 12 when he briefed the Revenue authorities about the guidelines issued by the Union Ministry regarding the site selection and asked them to submit the report by or before August 31.
“The revenue functionaries yesterday submitted the report to the Deputy Commissioner strictly as per the guidelines issued by the Union Health Ministry and after analyzing the same, the Deputy Commissioner submitted all the relevant papers of the identified locations to the Divisional Commissioner, Dr Pawan Kotwal today”, sources said.
They said that exact geographical coordinates of all the three locations, classification of land, details of road connectivity from National Highway, Railway Station and Airport have been provided in the report. Moreover, the formats, which were required to be filled as per the directions of the Union Ministry, have also been submitted to the Divisional Commissioner.
It is pertinent to mention here that Union Joint Secretary in his communication dated August 4, 2015 had advised Dr M K Bhandari, Secretary, Health and Medical Education Department of State Government to identify pieces of land measuring approximately 200 acres each in both Jammu and Srinagar.
In order to ensure that concerned authorities complete the task expeditiously, the Union Joint Secretary had also forwarded check-list to be taken into consideration in the process of land identification. The check-list as well as other guidelines issued by the Union Joint Secretary were subsequently forwarded to the Deputy Commissioners of Jammu and Srinagar for identification of land.
“Now, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu would forward the papers submitted by the Deputy Commissioner to the Health and Medical Education Department for onward submission to the Union Ministry”, sources said, adding the Union Ministry has already constituted two teams to visit and finalize sites for establishment of AIIMS and on getting relevant documents from the State Government they would pay visit to the State for assessing the suitability of the identified locations.
In response to a question, sources said that Deputy Commissioner Srinagar has yet not identified the site(s) for establishment of AIIMS and same may take some more time. “The possibility of Government sending documents of Jammu as well as Srinagar in one go cannot be ruled out”, they added.
It is worthwhile to mention here that agitation over establishment of AIIMS in Jammu came to an end only when the communication of Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare regarding identification of land was placed before those spearheading the agitation.