The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) will finally hand over 25 acres of vacant land in Sector 81 to the Medical Education and Research Department (MERD) by end of next week for construction of a medical college.
The Punjab government had earlier this year mooted the proposal to relocate the newly set up medical college in Mohali and picked a site at Knowledge City, Sector 81, for it.
The college, Dr BR Ambedkar State Institute of Medical Sciences in Phase 6, Mohali, is affiliated to Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot. It was set up during the tenure of the previous Congress government in the buildings of the existing Mohali civil hospital, Punjab Health System Corporation (PHSC) and a training institute of the health department.
The directorate of research and medical education, Punjab, had in August decided that the college will be shifted to the land which had initially been allotted for Institute of Nano Science and Technology (INST), an autonomous institution of the department of science and technology, government of India, in Sector 81.
Notably, GMADA had allocated around 75 acres to INST for a bio-technology park. A senior official on the condition of anonymity said, “INST kept six acres of land and handed over the remaining back to GMADA. Punjab CM had on August 13 directed GMADA to hand over 25 acres of this land to MERD for the medical college.”
Confirming the same, Amandeep Bansal, CA, GMADA, said that the approval for handing over the 25 acres of land is in its final stage.
In April this year, now sacked health minister Dr Vijay Singla had mooted the proposal to have a “better” site for the medical college, citing lack of land for expansion. He had expressed displeasure over the site selection, stating that the 10-acre land available in the college’s vicinity was not adequate to expand it in the future.
Following this, a three-member committee of senior IAS officers had identified three sites for the college — at Jujhar Nagar, near Phase 6; Medicity in New Chandigarh and Sector 81, where the Punjab government had acquired 381 acres to set up Knowledge City in 2009.
A senior officer on condition of anonymity said, “The Jujhar Nagar site had been selected earlier and construction for the college was also started there. Later, the project was halted after the MERD authorities were not satisfied with the following area which other sites were proposed”.
College to be upgraded to 220 seats
The ₹A 300 crore medical college project was sanctioned in 2012 during the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) regime under central-state shared funding in the 60:40 ratio.
Initially started with 100 MBBS seats, the institute will eventually be upgraded to 220 seats.
Dr BR Ambedkar State Institute of Medical Sciences Society is the fourth government medical college in Punjab after Amritsar, Patiala, and Faridkot, and the first to come up in 48 years.
The four government medical colleges, apart from private ones, offer around 1,500 seats in all across Punjab.