State govt fooling people on Shillong Med College: Hek

SHILLONG, Sep 17: Former Health Minister and senior BJP leader AL Hek on Saturday said the state government is fooling the people on the issue of Shillong Medical College and Hospital (SMCH).
Recalling Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong’s public statement that politicians fool people once in every five years, Hek said perhaps it is exactly what the government is trying to do with the people of Meghalaya.
The state government had scrapped the SMCH project with the KPC Group and then, started looking for land in the New Shillong Township area but the same was already identified for the same purpose.
Referring to Health Minister James PK Sangma’s statement in the recently-concluded Autumn Session of the Assembly that the project with the KPC group has been scrapped, Hek said, “We don’t understand it as the foundation stone was laid and the MoU was signed with the group in 2012. Now after a gap of almost ten years, it has been scrapped”.
“I really don’t know what will happen to the setting up of the Shillong Medical College,” he added.
He said the firm might go to court to protect its reputation.
“If that happens, I do not see any ray of hope for the Shillong Medical College. Definitely, they will not surrender just like that.
They will try to protect their reputation, which is at stake, as the cancellation of the MoU means they did something wrong,” Hek said.
He said if the matter goes to court, the project will be further delayed.
The Health Minister had told the Assembly the government is exploring two new modalities – public-private-partnership and the possibility of seeking support from the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA)/NITI Aayog.
He said at one point in time, the TB Hospital in Mawbah was under active consideration as the site for the proposed SMCH.
“However, this particular location has a lot of complications. The approach road is narrow and it would have become a problem in the future. The area is also very congested and this might have affected the functioning of the medical college,” Sangma said.
The guidelines under the National Medical Council disqualified the location at RP Chest Hospital for the medical college, he added.

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