Updated: December 26, 2014 8:25:05 pm
Himachal Pradesh government on Friday ended suspense over location of the proposed All Indian Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) with cabinet approving Bilaspur — home town of Union Health minister J P Nadda — as the place where the premier health institution will be located.
It was only on Thursday CM Virbhadra Singh had hinted that the AIIMS will be located at a central place in Himachal Pradesh, though there was demand from different areas including Kangra, Mandi and Hamirpur.
The cabinet meeting was presided over by the chief minister and was convened just day after he demonstrated his strength at end of his two-year term by calling all cabinet ministers, PCC president Sukhwinder Sukhu, Chief Parliamentary Secretaries and Chairmen/vice-chairmen of boards and corporations before the media.
An official spokesman said after the cabinet meeting “decision on location of the proposed AIIMS has been taken after taking into consideration the proximity of as many as five districts viz Solan, Mandi, Hamirpur, Una and Shimla. The AIIMS will be established in Bilaspur and this will benefit the people of Himachal Pradesh at large.”
Himachal Pradesh till now has only two medical colleges in the government sector namely, Indira Gandhi Medical College Shimla and Dr Rajendra Prasad Medical college, Tanda (kangra). Three other medical colleges are proposed for Chamba, Nahana and Hamirpur for which the centre has also sanctioned funds.
One more medical college set-up by the ECI, a central government agency under Ministry of Labour, has also been commissioned for which academic session is expected next year.
While Health Minister Kaul Singh Thakur was keen on setting-up AIIMS in Mandi at Ner Chowk, location of the ECI hospital and college, Transport Minister G S Bali had been lobbying for Kangra. While former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and MP Anurag Thakur had been asking for locating AIIMS in Hamirpur Parliamentary constituency only.
However, after Nadda was inducted as union health minister it was obvious that he would prefer AIIMS to be located in Bilaspur, which doesn’t have any major institution despite being a central district.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet on Friday also took a decision on central university to be located Dharamshala. The location of the university has been a tug of war between Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and former CM prem Kumar Dhumal as a site selection committee of the HRD ministry had recommended twin campuses of the university in 2009, one at Dharamshala and other at Dehra, which is part of Hamirpur Parliamentary constituency represented by Anurag Thakur.
The state assembly had witnessed heated arguments over ‘politics’ on central university wherein the chief minister made it clear that he favoured a unified campus. Now, when Dhumal had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week, and took up the central university issue, the Congress government hurried its move to announce the headquarters at Dharamshala.
The cabinet decided to revise the service length of the PTA (Grant-in-Aid) teachers from eight to seven years and take over their services on contract basis after they complete seven years of continuous service instead of eight years.
The Cabinet also gave its nod to fill up all functional posts in Community Health Centre, Nankhari and upgradation of Health Sub Centre in Gram Panchayat Kohbag in district Shimla.
Approval was accorded to shift the administrative control of IPH division Dehra from IPH circle, Hamirpur to IPH Circle Dharamsala in district Kangra.
In the same meeting, the cabinet decided to change the name of Government Industrial Training Institute Gagret to Government ITI Gagret at Bhaderkali in tehsil Amb (Una) since the institute is presently functioning at gram panchayat Bahderkali.
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