Uttam slams BJP, TRS govts for the delay in AIIMS Bibinagar

He said that AIIMS Bibinagar was one of 22 new AIIMS across the country that had been approved under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY)

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HYDERABAD: Congress MP & former TPCC President Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy, has strongly condemned the BJP Government at the Centre for delaying the completion of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Bibinagar. He also slammed TRS (BRS) government in Telangana for its failure to follow up on the matter with the Centre.

Uttam Kumar Reddy expressed shock at the response given by Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr Mansukh Mandviya to a question about AIIMS Bibinagar raised by him in the Lok Sabha on Friday. He stated that the statistics provided by the Union Minister clearly show that no progress was made in the establishment of AIIMS Bibinagar over the last four years.

He said that AIIMS Bibinagar was one of 22 new AIIMS across the country that had been approved under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY). While 6 AIIMS are fully operational in Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), Bhubaneswar (Odisha), Jodhpur (Rajasthan), Patna (Bihar), Raipur (Chhattisgarh), and Rishikesh (Uttarakhand), the remaining 16 AIIMS, including AIIMS Bibinagar, are at various stages of operationalization. However, he claimed that the Centre had not released allocated funds or filled sanctioned vacancies in order to complete the AIIMS Bibinagar.

"AIIMS Bibinagar was approved by the Union Cabinet on December 17, 2018 and an amount of Rs. 1,028 was sanctioned for the project. Of this, so far, an amount of only Rs. 31.71 has been released. Further, the deadline for the completion of the project, which was set as September 2022 in 2019 was first extended to January 2025 in June 2022 and now the Centre is silent on the deadline," he said.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said that different questions about the establishment of the AIIMS across the country, including the Bibinagar AIIMS, were raised in the Parliament 10 times between November 29, 2019 till today. He said that the replies given by the Centre on AIIMS Bibinagar give a clear indication that it was not interested in the completion of the project and it was deliberately delaying it for unknown reasons.

In response to a question on November 29, 2019, the Centre stated that the completion date for AIIMS Bibinagar was September 2022. Four months later, on February 12, 2021, the Union Minister informed Parliament of the Rs. 1,028 crore sanctioned amount, Rs. 22.78 crore spent on the project, and the completion deadline remained in September 2022.

Eight months later, on December 3, 2021, the Centre informed the House that the deadline for completion of AIIMS Bibinagar has been extended to November 2023. It also mentioned that an amount of Rs. 28.16 crores was spent on the project. This means that less than Rs. 6 crores were spent in a period of 8 months from February to December 2021.

A similar reply was given when the question was raised in the Parliament on February 4, 2022 and the target date of completion was mentioned as November 2023. Four months later, on June 2, 2022, the Centre extended the deadline for completion to January 2025. It also mentioned that Rs. 29.28 crores were spent on the project. The Centre admitted that it had spent just Rs. 1 crore in one-and-half years (December 2021 to June 2022) and also extended the deadline by 14 months.

"When I raised the same question today on AIIMS Bibinagar, the Union Minister did not mention anything about the deadline although he claimed that so far Rs. 31.71 crore have been spent. The statistics clearly show that the BJP Govt has spent only Rs. 8.93 crores in the last two years while extending the deadline by three years. This is a huge injustice with Telangana and the Congress party will not tolerate it," he said.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the BJP Govt did not take measures to fill the sanctioned strength. Quoting the statistics given by the Union Health Minister in the Parliament, he said of 183 Faculty posts, 94 were vacant. Similarly, as many as 784 non-faculty posts out of sanctioned 971 are vacant.

The Congress MP said that the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act mandated the establishment of one AIIMS each in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. "The BJP Govt had released Rs. 1,288.99 crores out of the allocated Rs. 1,618 crores for the establishment of AIIMS at Mangalagiri in Andhra Pradesh. But it had spent only Rs. 31.71 crores for AIIMS in Telangana. The Centre had released more than 50% of the allocated amount for 14 out of 16 AIIMS across the country. This is pure discrimination against Telangana and step-motherly treatment by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP Govt," he alleged.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said that TRS Govt was equally responsible for the huge delay in the completion of AIIMS Bibinagar. "Why did Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao remain silent on this discrimination by the Modi Govt all these years? TRS acted as an ally of the BJP for almost seven years and now it is enacting the drama of being a rival. Chief Minister KCR supported Modi Govt in all the major decisions like demonetisation, GST and the passing of all controversial laws. But he had no courage to question Modi Govt on the injustices done to Telangana. KCR's silence deprived the poor people of Telangana of gaining access to super-speciality health services," he said.

The Congress MP appealed to the people to take note of injustices being done by the BJP Govt to Telangana and also understand its nexus with the BRS Govt which remained a mute spectator to those injustices. He announced that the Congress party would soon launch a massive agitation to demand the early completion of AIIMS Bibinagar.

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