AIIMS in Bathinda life-line for Malwa, Punjab govt conspires to loose it : The Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal today asked the Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh not to allow the AIIMS in Bathinda to be lost just because of what she called “the misplaced priorities of your finance department.” Calling the proposed AIIMS for Bathinda a “life-line for the people of the region and a once-in-a lifetime project”, Harsimrat said that other states “are ready to grab what Punjab loses and this will hurt the people of the state in a big way, especially the people of Bathinda.”She was severe on the Punjab government for consistently denying the people of Bathinda the projects and facilities secured for them with hard work. “Today it is AIIMS. Yesterday, it was the Thermal Plant. Tomorrow it could be something else. Is this the way you repay the people of Bathinda for trusting you? Earlier, even the Rs 21000 crore Shri Guru Gobind Singh ji Bathinda Oil Refinery was being sabotaged and given up as a “white elephant” before Parkash Singh Badal saved it for Punjab through Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee. Why this special treatment to the people of Bathinda by the Congress?” she asked.Harsimrat said that no one must be allowed to “play havoc with the lives of the people of Bathinda by deliberately pulling the plug on this life-line to people’s health. This 750 bed hospital would be a real blessing for the people of this region, especially the poor who cannot afford to go to the expensive private hospitals. The AIIMS has a reputation the world over as a high quality medical facility and governments in different parts of the country vie with one another to secure this for their states, ” said the Union Minister. Harsimrat told Captain Singh that as CM, it is his responsibility not to allow anyone to “deprive Punjab, especially the people of Bathinda belt of Malwa region, of Rs. 925 crore AIIMS hospital. The main reason why some people in your government don’t want the AIIMS to come to Bathinda is that Parkash Singh Badal brought this project. But if this is the way for some people to repay their own constituency, one can merely pray that the rest of the state escapes this vengeful mindset.”
All that the state government had to do was to meet just 25% of the initial project cost and the centre is ready to fund it the tune of Rs 719 crore. But the Punjab Finance Department has been deliberately creating hurdles in the path of its setting up. She regretted that there appeared to be something personal about making the state suffer.Harsimrat said that the Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal first delayed the requisite clearances and is now refusing to release the funds to meet the state’s share in the project. It is hard to understand why he would not find the meager funds required for the AIIMS project in Bathinda while the state govt continues to splurge crores on renovation of bungalows of VVIPs.
Harsimrat said “The AIIMS in Bathinda is meant for the common people, especially the poor, who cannot even afford to travel hundreds of kilometers to Chandigarh for treatment at the PGI. This is a moral responsibility of any government to fulfill especially when one knows that Punjab stands to gain a neat 719 crores simply by accepting this project.”Harsimrat assured the government and the people of Punjab that she would do everything in her power to get Rs 719 crore released within days of the state government meeting its meager share of the project. “As custodian of Punjab’s interests at the centre, I assure everyone that if the Punjab govt foots its meager share of the expenses today, I will get the Centre’s share released within days.”
– PTC News