SHILLONG, March 24: The state government is still undecided on whether or not to accept the changes in the concessionaire agreement as proposed by Kolkata-based firm, Kali Pradip Chaudhuri (KPC) Group, for the setting up of the Shillong Medical College under public-private partnership (PPP) mode.
Health Minister, James PK Sangma on Thursday said it will be difficult for the government to go ahead in the manner proposed.
“We are still examining if we should scrap the agreement or consider the changes in the concessionaire agreement as proposed by the concessionaire,” he told reporters.
The firm had signed a 33-year PPP agreement with the government in 2012 to build and operate the Shillong Medical College. The agreement will have to be renewed every 33 years. During its signing, the firm had estimated the project cost at Rs 248 crore.
Meanwhile, Sangma said the Tura Medical College project was on track.
“The first phase has seen about 35-40% completion in terms of civil work. It is a bit slow as the COVID-19 has impacted the pace of work,” the Minister said.
He said he had held a few meetings to find solution to various problems as regards approach road, water supply, electricity.
“We are hopeful that we will be able to put things back on track to see that this project is completed,” he said.
Asked about a tentative deadline, Sangma said this is only the first phase. He said work for the second and third phases is yet start. Only the administrative block is being constructed now, he added.
He said the department has plans to start the work of second and third phases simultaneously.
The state government is keenly observing the spike in COVID-19 cases in some countries due to the spread of the latest sub-variant of the Omicron virus.
“We will take appropriate action if there is a cause of concern,” Sangma said.
On the prefab structures in Shillong and Tura, he said the state government needs to have such facilities to prepare itself in case of spike in the cases.
He, however, said there was a slight challenge in terms of site development for the prefab structure in Tura. He said the work is going on in the first phase and would be completed soon.
Sangma said the response to the inoculation of children aged 12-14 years is a bit slow. He admitted that there is still vaccine hesitancy among many, including a small number of doctors, nurses and health workers. “I had shared the figures in the Assembly during the recent budget session,” he added.