BJP-PDP govt in delusion over AIIMS in Jammu, will hospital take years to come-up?

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What was achieved by the strenuous efforts of the civil society, legal fraternity and Jammu-based political parties is unlikely to become a reality in the next few years. Land has been acquired and handed over to the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) and there is no time-frame as to when the entire land would become available for the construction to start. Cabinet had accorded sanction to the transfer of state land measuring 293 Canals and 13 Marlas situated in villages Chak Diwan Bhim Sen and Rakh Barotian, Tehsil Vijaypur, district Samba, to J&K Health and Medical Education Department for establishment of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Vijaypur in Samba district during a cabinet meeting on April 28, 2017. However, the acquisition of land is yet to take place. The land is located in the water way of river Devak and requires extensive river training works. Another serious deficiency is that the proposed site is located just 4 Kilometers from the volatile Indo-Pak International Border (IB). More alarming is the fact that the visiting inspection teams had been given an impression that the land is available and there would be no problem in its acquisition. State government had assured the central teams of constructing AIIMS within stipulated period of time.
But the state government has neither managed to acquire the land required for the AIIMS nor is it in a position to explain why it choose a site which is just 4 Kilometers from the International Border (IB)? This shows how political considerations override proper planning of developmental projects especially those which have potential to strengthen economics of Jammu and Kashmir. Plans are drawn as per the convenience and demand of the politicians who go merely by vote-bank considerations. Rational decisions are a rarity these days. The site was chosen in a hurry since the state government wanted to avoid confrontation with Jammu based opposition parties which had been alleging that BJP had given up its love for Jammu region after having come to power. Bureaucrats who should have cautioned state government by preferred silence for the reasons best known to them. Instead, documentary evidence indicates that they sang peens about land and even recommended that the construction should start within shortest possible time and without any further delay.
You start construction on the land so far acquired was what the Babus told CPWD but the central construction company categorically told them that no construction would be possible until the time entire land is not made available. The construction company’s decision to refuse to construct AIIMS over the land, part of which has been acquired, a portion of which is disputed and more than 60 percent of which is yet to be physically acquired should have resulted in state government shifting gears and fixing responsibility of those who had recommended this site for AIIMS. The site should have been chosen with utmost care and intellect. State government should not have taken the decision in a hurry. Politics should not have dominated the decision making. But now that a blunder has been committed, required corrective measures should not be delayed. The site has been identified but since it is close to the international border, another site where land does not involve cumbersome acquisition process should be identified and handed over to CPWD. And it should be done without any further delay. A site which is both disputed and involves litigation besides dislocating those who have encroached the land is in no way ideal for the construction of an AIIMS like an institution. Decision making defines and explains how government works. The PDP-BJP government should hasten decision-making processes and fix time-frame for every major decision that it takes. In the case of land acquirement for construction of AIIMS in Jammu region; a fresh decision should be taken, the site identified and handed over to the CPWD for the construction of AIIMS.

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