Madurai

Demand to set up AIIMS in Madurai picks up steam

Members of People's Federation for AIIMS, observing a fast in Madurai on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: S. James

The need for establishing All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Thoppur near Madurai was stressed by speakers at the day-long token fast organised by Madurai District Tiny and Small-Scale Industries Association, under the banner ‘Makkal Iyakkam,’ here on Wednesday.

They explained how it would benefit not only people from southern districts, but also those from parts of central districts such as Karur, Perambalur and Tiruchi.

Two years ago, the Union government had announced in its budget that AIIMS would be established in Tamil Nadu, modelled on the one in New Delhi. Last year, the Finance Ministry had earmarked funds for the project. However, due to ‘delay’ from the Tamil Nadu government in identifying the land, the project could not take off.

As many as five locations, including Madurai, figured in the proposal. A study team from New Delhi had ‘favoured’ Madurai as its choice as it had all features that other locations did not have.

Recently, when Tamil Nadu Chief Minister ‘Edappadi’ K. Palaniswami went to New Delhi, he appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to establish AIIMS at Sengipatti in Thanjavur district.

Shocked over the CM’s move, the people and various organisations from the southern districts of the State have come together to urge the governments to reconsider the decision.

Presiding over the agitation, chief coordinator V.S. Manimaran said when Madurai was the acceptable location to all stakeholders, the sudden ‘U’ turn by the government in suggesting another town only created confusion and delay.

It must be noted that the Union government had earmarked funds for AIIMS to be set up in three States, including Tamil Nadu and works in other States, incluing Uttarakhand, had begun. So instead of delaying it further, the government should stick to the proposal to establish the state-of-the-art hospital in Madurai.

Speakers from various political outfits, including the CPI(M), led by its leader Jothiram, Bharatiya Janata Party and other regional parties, supported the agitation. BJP State secretary R. Srinivasan said that more than any other city, Madurai would be able to cater to a larger section of people as patients not only from southern districts, but even from faraway towns like Perambalur and Karur could benefit as the road connectivity was good. A total of 2.30 crore population, as per 2011 census, would reap the benefit. The BJP, he said, would strongly voice for Madurai, he asserted.

Various organisations and trade bodies from Virudhunagar, Dindigul, Theni, Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli and other towns supported the agitation. Perrys Mahendravel presided over the fast.


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Printable version | Oct 24, 2021 12:43:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/demand-to-set-up-aiims-in-madurai-picks-up-steam/article17469014.ece

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