UNION MINISTER Mansukh Mandaviya on Sunday exuded confidence that the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) proposed to be set up in Gujarat will be awarded to Rajkot.
“The government of India has decided to set up an AIIMS in Gujarat. Decision is pending on its site. But I am confident and have faith that Rajkot enjoys priority on the demand list. Rajkot is hub of Saurashtra. It can be called capital of Saurashtra. Jamnagar, Junagadh, Porbandar, Veraval etc are connected to it by rail and road. We have made a very strong case for Rajkot to get the proposed AIIMS,” Mandaviya told media persons here on Sunday.
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Mandaviya, who is Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping, Chemicals and Fertilisers and hails from Bhavnagar district of Saurashtra, was in Rajkot to inaugurate a housing project for sweepers of Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) in the city.
The Central government had announced in 2015 to build an AIIMS in Gujarat in coming years as part of its plan to have a premier medical institute in each state of the country. After the announcement of the Central government, the state government had declared that the proposed premier medical institute will come up either in Rajkot in Saurashtra region or Vadodara in the central Gujarat region. The government had then conducted exercise of identifying land in both these districts.
Rajkot collector Vikrant Pandey said that the district administration has already identified land for the purpose and had submitted details to the state government. “We already have identified land near Khirasara village on Kalavad road. More than 100 acres of land is available there. This piece of land is government waste land. We have already submitted details about this to the government,” Pandey told The Indian Express.
While presenting budget 2014-15, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced to set up an AIIMS in each state of the country to augment medical and healthcare facilities. After this, the Centre had reportedly asked Gujarat to identify land for the proposed project. An expert team of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had visited Rajkot in January 2015 and inspected the proposed site near Khirasara Palace and other location near the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium near Khanderi village on Jamnagar. The expert team had also visited Vadodara.