Legislators debate on delay in Tura Medical College

SHILLONG, Apr 20: The Meghalaya Assembly on Friday briefly witnessed a heated argument between former Chief Minister and leader of the opposition, Dr Mukul Sangma and Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong on the Tura Medical College issue.

Dr Sangma who was the Chief Minister when foundation stones were laid for the project on two separate occasions in different sites was trying to explain to the House how the construction of the Tura Medical College was delayed due to “politics”.

The Opposition leader informed the house that there was huge encroachment at the Tura Civil Hospital Complex, which would have acted as a “teaching hospital”.

Intervening into the matter, Deputy Chief Minister, Tynsong who also holds the Parliamentary Affairs portfolio said, “This is the Question Hour we don’t want a lecture.”

Earlier, opposition Congress legislator from Rangsakona, Zenith M Sangma who wanted a clear reply from the Health Minister, AL Hek on the reasons for having to shift the construction of the proposed hospital to another site went on to explain the cause by himself.

Zenith informed the House that the foundation stone of the Tura Medical Collage was first laid in December 2012 and subsequently the norms of the Medical Council of India (MCI) were changed.
“The proposed land was thus not feasible,” the Rangsakona MLA said.

He pointed out as per the norms of the MCI, a medical college should be within 10 km of the existing district hospital.

The new site for the medical college in Tura has been identified at Doldegre in West Garo Hills. The location is on the outskirts of Tura and 10km from Tura Civil Hospital.
Zenith who was irked with the reply of the Health Minister said that due to the response of the Minister the project has become a laughing stock.

“It has become a laughing stock because ofthe reply of the Minister,” the legislator said.

In his reply, Hek assured that work into the construction of the Tura Medical College will start soon.

Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma informed the House that the estimate for the construction of the Tura Medical College has gone up from Rs 189 crore to Rs 234 crore.

Conrad guaranteed that there will not be any further delay in the project. “We assure you that it will not take five years,” the Chief Minister said.

Hek also told the House that Rs 51 crore has been sanctioned by the Centre for the project.

The earlier site where the foundation stone was laid in 2012 by Deputy Chief Minister Rowell Lyngdoh was under Balalgre and Jewilgre Nokmaship near Damalgre, which is around 25 km from Tura town.

The detailed project report was considered by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in a meeting of the Empowered Committee (EC) on March 14, 2016.

However, the EC did not approve the land earmarked at a distance of 14.5 km from the existing district hospital as it was not complying with the Council norms.

This compelled the State to identify the new site at Doldegre.

The first foundation stone was laid in 2012 and later in January this year foundation stone was laid in another site.

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