Wednesday, April 21, 2021
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JICA likely to sign loan pact for AIIMS in March 2021

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Last meeting was held between officials of the Japanese agency on Dec. 24: RTI reply

MADURAI

The loan agreement between the Government of India and the Government of Japan for sanctioning funds from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the construction of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Madurai is likely to be signed in March 2021, reveals a Right to Information (RTI) Act reply from the Department of Health and Family Welfare.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for AIIMS at Thoppur here in January 2019. The project was scheduled to be completed in 45 months since the commencement of construction works. A preparatory survey was conducted by JICA officials at the site in February 2020.

The RTI reply, obtained by R. Pandiaraja, an activist, said that meetings were held between JICA officials in India and their colleagues in Japan. The last meeting was held on December 24, 2020, the reply added. “This project was not showing much progress and finally there is some positive news regarding the signing of the loan agreement with JICA,” said Mr. Pandiaraja.

JICA would provide 85% of the total cost of establishment of new AIIMS, which was around ₹2,000 crore, said the RTI reply.

However, classes at AIIMS would commence only when the buildings were ready, it said. For the question whether temporary buildings were identified to commence admissions at AIIMS, the reply said that no temporary buildings were identified.

Madurai Member of Parliament Su. Venkatesan said that the main problem was that no special officer was appointed by the State government to oversee the operations of AIIMS in Madurai.

He also said that the announcement for setting up AIIMS at Jammu was made at the same time as that of Madurai AIIMS. “While admissions for medical courses commenced this year for Jammu AIIMS, the Tamil Nadu government has taken no steps to commence admissions for AIIMS in Madurai. It is the responsibility of the State government to identify a temporary building and a 300-bed hospital to commence admissions for AIIMS here,” he added.

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