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PM inaugurates cancer facility; had already done that, says Mamata

During the event, CM Mamata Banerjee thanked the PM for inaugurating the campus but said it was already inaugurated some time back and used as a quarantine facility during the peak of the pandemic.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
Updated: January 8, 2022 2:59:52 am
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday inaugurated the second campus of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute (CNCI) in Kolkata in a virtual event and said that the facility will help in ensuring quality healthcare to the poor and the middle class. However, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who attended the programme via video conferencing from her Kalighat residence, said the state government had inaugurated the second campus last year and used it as a quarantine centre for Covid-19 patients.

Located in Kolkata’s Rajarhat New Town area, CNCI’s new campus will have a 460-bed comprehensive cancer unit equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for cancer diagnosis, staging, treatment and care. The campus will also serve as an advanced cancer research facility.

Speaking at the event, the Prime Minister said, “We have taken another step in strengthening the national resolve to provide quality health facilities to every citizen of the country. The second campus of CNCI will offer great convenience especially to the poor and middle class families who have someone coping with cancer.”

PM Modi added that the country had crossed another important milestone on the day of administering 150 crore vaccine doses. Modi said that till now around 11 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been provided free of cost to West Bengal by the central government. “More than 1,500 ventilators and more than 9,000 oxygen cylinders have also been given to West Bengal. 49 PSA new oxygen plants have also started functioning.” he said.

The Prime Minister stated that CNCI’s second campus had been constructed at a cost of Rs 530 crore. The central government had contributed Rs 400 crore for the project, while the rest was borne by the West Bengal government.

In her address, Banerjee thanked PM Modi for inaugurating the campus. “The Prime Minister is virtually inaugurating this campus. But let me inform you that we have already inaugurated this way before as this institute is associated with the state government as well and we used it as a quarantine centre for Covid-19 patients,” she said. “The PM will be happy to know that the state is funding 25% of the project. We also gave the land for the campus of the cancer hospital,” she added.

Taking dig at West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, she said, “The number of medical seats should be increased but the governor creates hurdles for us whenever we go for any work, not knowing that it is actually a work given by the Prime Minister.”

Reacting to the accusations, Dhankhar later tweeted that Banerjee’s statement was “factually wrong and usual act of impropriety”.

Head of BJP IT cell Amit Malaviya criticised Banerjee’s stand in a series of tweets on Friday. “Mamata Banerjee is incorrigible,” he tweeted.

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