State fails to fulfill pre-conditions during past over 5 years
BJP Minister had befooled people by laying foundation stone
JAMMU, Jan 6: Notwithstanding the much hype created by the successive State Governments, the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry has yet not given formal sanction to the establishment of three Tertiary Cancer Care Centres in Jammu and Kashmir and is focusing only on making State Cancer Institute functional at Government Medical College Jammu.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that in the year 2013, the then Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare had made an announcement that Government of India was planning to establish several Tertiary Cancer Care Centres across the country and three such centres would also come up in Jammu and Kashmir.
He had even announced that in J&K these centres will be established in Kishtwar, Udhampur and Kupwara in order to decentralize treatment of this deadly disease and provide quality speciality services to the people in the peripheral areas without the need to visit centrally located centres.
Accordingly, the State Government was directed to meet the pre-conditions as early as possible so as to pave the way for accord of formal sanction and subsequent release of funds, sources said while disclosing that even a check-list of the formalities required to be made by the State Government were communicated by the Union Ministry well in time.
However, instead of meeting the pre-conditions to obtain formal sanction for establishment of three Tertiary Cancer Care Centres at a cost of Rs 135 crore——Rs 45 crore for each centre, the successive State Governments particularly the Health Ministers kept on misleading the people by issuing statements both inside and outside the Legislature mentioning one or the another time-line for the start of work.
The Minister for Health in the PDP-BJP Coalition Government Bali Bhagat had even laid the foundation stone of the Tertiary Cancer Care Centre at an isolated place in the outskirts of Kishtwar town on October 10, 2016 in the presence of the then Minister of State for Transport Sunil Kumar Sharma.
While addressing the public gathering on the occasion, he had stated that work on the centre will begin shortly as the Government was all set to complete the formalities for obtaining funds from the Government of India. However, this step was aimed at befooling the people of Kishtwar as till date no formal sanction has been given by the Union Health Ministry for the establishment of these three Tertiary Cancer Care Centres in Jammu and Kashmir.
When contacted, a senior officer in the Health and Medical Education Department said, on the condition of anonymity that, no formal sanction has been given by the Union Government for the Tertiary Cancer Care Centres. “It was merely a decision of the Union Government and to translate the same into reality the State Government was required to meet the pre-requisites”, he added.
“There is a set procedure in the Government of India which has to be followed before obtaining formal sanction of any project and preconditions in respect of three Tertiary Cancer Care Centres have not been fulfilled till date”, he further said in response to a question.
He disclosed that at present the focus of the State Government is on establishment of State Cancer Institute in Government Medical College Jammu for which formalities have almost been completed with the recent approval of the State Administrative Council to set up Department of Nuclear Medicine in GMC Jammu.
“It took several years to the Health and Medical Education Department to meet the pre-requisites for the State Cancer Institute at GMC Jammu as such no time-frame can be specified for meeting the preconditions of the Union Health Ministry for obtaining formal sanction for Tertiary Cancer Care Centres”, sources said.
“The programme under which three Tertiary Cancer Care Centres were merely announced for the State has already lost validity and the Union Health Ministry is seeking the Union Cabinet approval for its extension so immediate progress vis-a-vis three Tertiary Cancer Care Centres cannot be expected”, sources disclosed.