Medical College in Kohima not halted; has funds for project, says Nagaland government
Construction of Medical College in Mon to start soon
Dimapur, May 21 (EMN): Amid reports that the much-awaited Medical College at Phriebagie in Kohima could have been halted due to financial problem, the government of Nagaland on Saturday clarified that “the project was never grounded” and funds not exhausted.
The government updated that Central government has released its share of INR 170.10 crore for the project, out of which INR 77.73 crore has been utilised till date and the balance amount is available with the government. It assured that there is fund for the project.
Providing details about the project, the update informed that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) approved the establishment of the medical college with an intake capacity of 100 MBBS seats at District Hospital Kohima or Naga Hospital Authority Kohima (NHAK) at a cost of INR 189.00 crore under centrally-sponsored scheme in 2014. One of the eligibility criteria for the scheme was that it should be upgraded from district hospitals with bed strength of 200 or more and private hospitals are not eligible.
“The college will initially function from two plots, administrative, academic, hostels, and staff quarters at Phriebagie, and the Teaching Hospital will be at Naga Hospital Kohima, which is permissible under the Regulations of National Medical Commission (NMC),” read the update.
However, due to space constraints, the NHAK couldn’t be upgraded into a 500-bedded teaching hospital, which should be in place by 3rd inspection as per the Regulations of NMC. Owing to this, a dedicated 500-bedded teaching hospital will be established at Phriebagie, for which the construction of a 150-bedded hospital through state resources is nearing completion while the department has approached Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for setting up a 400-bedded teaching hospital, said the government.
On the delay, the state government said that the Centre approved the medical college in 2014 but the land acquisition was completed only in February 2018 before the master plan was approved in October the same year. The construction work started in 2019 but was severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, it added.
‘Despite the initial delay, work is in full swing and construction works are expected to be completed within this year,’ it said, while allaying speculations of fund exhaustion.
“Considering the absence of iconic national institutions in the state and limited financial and human resources, it is felt that the Medical College will be best run as a central institute, whereby the college may be even brought under the control of Nagaland University as practiced elsewhere. However, the Central government has conveyed its inability,” it said.
It went on to say that 60 categories of posts have been created, which is required for obtaining Letter of Permission (LOP) from NMC, and advertisement for the post of Director has already published nationally (on May 11) while advertisement for the remaining posts will be issued shortly.
On Medical College in Mon
The government also said that the Central government has released INR 232.23 crore till date for the Medical College in Mon, out of the total approved cost of INR 325 crore.
It said the state government has acquired 90 acres of land at Mon village, about 3 km away from the existing District Hospital Mon, for the project.
‘The soil survey, contour survey works, preliminary works at the site including construction of road etc. have been initiated; the bid documents and technical details for the remaining works have also been taken up. As per the timeline finalised with the experts and the department, works are expected to start by the 3rd quarter of this year,’ read the update.