Vedanta Group has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Odisha government for establishment of a 500 bed medical college and hospital in Kalahandi district.
The project involves an outlay of Rs 350 crore, said Odisha’s health minister Pratap Jena. Whilst Vedanta will provide Rs 100 crore for infrastructure of the medical college cum hospital, the state government will spend the rest. The medical college will have intake capacity of 100 MBBS seats, he added. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who was also present on the occasion, said the medical college and hospital will benefit the people in Kalahandi and other parts of western Odisha.
Patnaik had laid the foundation stone of the medical college at Bhangabari in Bhawanipatna, the district headquarters town of Kalahandi, in November 2016. However, the pact was strongly criticised by BJP which termed it as another attempt by the ruling BJD to deceive the people of the Western Odisha district.State BJP vice-president Sameer Mohanty said, Naveen laid the foundation stone of the medical college at a grand ceremony in November, 2016. “He had promised that construction will be completed by 2018 and admission of the first batch for undergraduate medical courses will start from 2019-20 academic session. If he failed to keep his promise who will trust him again,” he said.
Mohanty wondered why it took so long to sign an MoU with Vedanta when its chairman Anil Agarwal had made a commitment to provide financial assistance to the tune of Rs 100 crore for the proposed medical college at Bhangabari near Bhawanipatna.He said the State Government is not making any serious efforts to restart the medical college at Jaring set up by Selvam Educational and Charitable Trust of Tamil Nadu. Besides, the Government is not seriously pursuing the case registered against the president of the Trust for violating the MoU signed with Western Odisha Development Council, he added.