Kasaragod has lots to cheer about with the assurance that the medical college, proposed to be attached with the Central University of Kerala (CUK), will not be shifted out of the relatively backward district, which by and large rely on hospitals in nearby Mangalore for its medical requirements.

The assurance to this effect was made by Union Minister for Human Resources Development M.M. Pallam Raju while laying the foundation stone for the CUK headquarter campus in the 310 acre land at Periye in the district on Saturday. “I am aware that Kasaragod is greatly in need of a well-equipped medical college, particularly due to the absence of a modern hospital within the Kerala border in this part of the State. Let me assure you that I shall give all support to making the dream of the people of Kasaragod about a medical college under the Central University of Kerala, a reality,” Mr. Raju said to thunderous applause from the people on and off the dais.

During talks he had with the physicians in Mangalore en route to Kasaragod on Friday, the Minister said, he assessed that a sizeable number of patients were depending on Mangalore for their medical requirements. The issue needed to be addressed positively, he added.

There was a constraint of funds that prevented him from making a formal announcement of the college. Arrangements would be made to find the required funds in the next five-year plan outlay, he said.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said his government was with the aspirations of the people of north Kerala and would extend all support to fulfil their aspiration to have a medical college.

Addressing the gathering, P. Karunakaran, MP, and local MLA K. Kunhiraman drew the attention of the Union HRD Minister to make a formal announcement in this regard citing the serious health hazards posed by the spraying of endosuflan in the district.