Union Minister of State for Labour and Employment Kodikunnil Suresh has said the construction of the ESI Medical College at Parippally in Kollam district will be completed by November.

The first batch of students would be admitted for the 2014-15 academic year, he said on Friday. The Minister was addressing a press conference after reviewing the working of the ESI hospitals and dispensaries in the State.

Mr. Suresh said 70 per cent of the work on Medical College, contracted to Hindustan Latex Ltd., was complete. The project would cost about Rs. 480 crore. A paramedical institute would be started at Ezhukone in Kollam district instead of the dental college proposed earlier. The proposal for dental college was dropped on account of difficulties in fulfilling various stipulations. The institute would run three courses from next year.

He said the ESI Corporation had sanctioned Rs.6.56 crore for the renovation, repair and maintenance of ESI dispensaries in the State. The dispensary at Peroorkada here was to be renovated at a cost of Rs. 2.15 crore. The other dispensaries getting the funds included those at Chackai, Karamana, Puthur (Kollam), Cheruvannur (Kozhikode) and Palakkad. Funds would be sanctioned to half a dozen more dispensaries once the estimates were ready.

The Minister said 27 villages in the State now did not have ESI medical facilities. Facilities would be set up in these villages. The Corporation was also ready to extend facilities to Wayanad district as well as Mancheri taluk of Malappuram district which did not have any ESI facility.

The Corporation was also constructing buildings for ESI offices and dispensaries functioning in rented buildings. The office building in Thiruvananthapuram would be commissioned in March. Inauguration of building for the dispensary in Kottarakkara was scheduled for this month. The building under construction in Kollam would be ready for inauguration in March.

Mr. Suresh said a regional office of the film workers’ welfare fund board would be set up in the State. Now, Kerala came under the office in Karnataka. A dispensary was planned for the workers in Thiruvananthapuram.

Director General of ESI A. K. Agarwal said freeing workers of health worries was the motto of the ESI Corporation.

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