The much-hyped PGI satellite centre in Ferozepur hangs fire though it was approved in 2013 by the UPA-II government to boost modernised healthcare facilities in the border region.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to lay the foundation stone of the ₹500-crore PGI satellite centre in Ferozepur on January 5, but the PM had to return due to the farmers’ protest.
Later, home minister Amit Shah, while addressing the locals during the recently held state polls, promised to virtually lay the foundation of this project on Baisakhi, but nothing happened.
Sameer Aggarwal, nodal officer of the project and professor, orthopaedic, PGI, said tenders for the PGI centre were resent to the finance committee of the PGI for revision of rates as there is an increase of cost by about 8 per cent.
“The meeting of the committee will be held next month and the work on the project will commence subsequently once the committee will give its nod,” he added.
Since the approval by the UPA government, the fate of the satellite centre hangs in the balance due to the non-finalisation of land following which people are left with no option but to visit Ludhiana, Jalandhar or Amritsar for advanced medical treatment.
“In September last, the request for the proposal for establishing the centre was issued while tenders were floated in October 2021, yet no development commenced,” said an official privy to the project.
“There is no intimation or direction for the virtual send-off of the venture till now which will have 100 beds, including 30 emergency consideration and high-reliance beds, besides 10 clinical speciality offices and five other supporting divisions, other than minor and significant OTs,” the official added.
The SAD-BJP government initially gave nod in 2014 to the proposal mooted by the financial commissioner (development) to allot 25-acre gram panchayat land at Wajidpur village to the local horticulture department in exchange for their land to be given for the PGI centre at Malwal village on the Ferozepur-Moga highway, but the proposal could not materialise.
Thereafter, the state authorities transferred the 16-acre land of the ITI ground to the health department, but later the PGI authorities demanded 5.5-acre more land for the construction of houses for doctors and other staff, which was also approved in February 2016, but even then, the construction could not start.
Meanwhile in 2017, with the change of guard, the Congress government again mooted the process to relocate the land at Malwal village to tackle the issue of traffic chaos and its adverse effect on the emergency treatment.