The detailed project report for the centre was yet to be prepared

Finance Minister K.M. Mani’s budget speech on Friday had only one thing to mention about the city’s health sector – the location of the proposed cancer centre to be set up in the city. There was no fund allocation for the centre in the budget.

N.K. Sanil, a city-based doctor who campaigned for the centre, said the people’s representatives in the district failed to take up the project before the government. K. Ellangovan, Principal secretary, Health and Family Welfare, told The Hindu that since the cancer institute was a special project, financial aid could be provided only when the project took a shape. He said the detailed project report for the centre was yet to be prepared.

Dr. Sanil, however, said Rs.5 crore had been earmarked for a cancer centre in central Kerala in the last budget. “It was just an idea then. But now the government has announced the project. With the fund allocation, the project can slowly take off,” he said. Dr. Ellangovan also said the government had not provided any allocation for greenfield institutes, where construction has to begin from the scratch. But organisations in the medical college pointed out that a rough estimate for its development could have been mentioned in the budget.

Dr. Ellangovan said that for Cochin Medical College, supplementary allocation would be given once the government was aware of gaps between the assets and liabilities. Non-Plan funds would be made available to pay for the salaries and other expenditure, he said.

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