Hospital authorities are waiting for sanction from the directorate of medical education to whom a proposal has been sent

A skywalk may soon connect Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (GH) and the new campus for Madras Medical College (MMC) that has come up on the erstwhile Central prison premises.

GH authorities have sent a proposal to the directorate of medical education to construct the pedestrian skywalk for the benefit of the medical students, faculty and staff members.

Once the new campus is occupied, those travelling from the hospital have to travel up to Anna Salai via Pallavan Salai and take a ‘U’ turn to reach the campus.

Nearly 1,250 students and 400 staff members, including faculty, will have to negotiate the congested stretch of Poonamallee High Road and Pallavan Salai to reach the new college campus.

Students, especially of the second and third years, are required to be at the hospital in the morning and then go the college in the afternoon.

“We have proposed a skywalk to address this issue. But, this cannot be achieved overnight as permission has to be obtained from various departments, including Southern Railways. A railway track and a waterway run along the stretch,” said dean of GH and MMC, V. Kanagasabai.

Officials of the Public Works Department said that they were prepared to construct the skywalk. If the government sanctions the proposal, a technical feasibility study of the structure will be taken up, an official said.

The new six-storeyed building housing the MMC stands on land covering 3.25 lakh square feet. Work on the project worth Rs. 56.63 crore, which started in 2010, was completed over a year ago.

What remains of the Central prison, which was built in 1837 and demolished to give way to the college, is its high compound wall. The structure now stands in stark contrast to the swanky college buildings.

College authorities said the 178-year-old MMC will move into its new home in two months.

Equipment will be shifted from the existing campus to the new one during June and July and orders to purchase furniture have been placed, the dean said.

The Medical Council of India had recently inspected the new building and is yet to send its report.

“We are upgrading the number of medical seats to 250. The new structure can accommodate that many students,” Dr. Kanagasabai noted.

He added that once the medical students move to the new campus, the existing MMC buildings will house the college of pharmacy, school of nursing and also accommodate students of the recently-added courses of audiology, speech learning and pathology, radio therapy and radio diagnosis.

Officials of the PWD said work on constructing a new compound wall was not taken up due to the suspended elevated expressway project proposed to connect Maduravoyal and Chennai port along the Cooum river.

“We will wait to check if the expressway is aligned close to the compound wall,” said an official.

There is a proposal to construct a women’s hostel and an auditorium in the new campus, the official added.

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