Arun Medicity in the doldrums as plans afoot to start TRIHMS Medical College this year

[Junroi Mamai]

ITANAGAR, Nov 4: Authorities at the Tomo Riba Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (TRIHMS) are planning to start the academic session of the state’s first medical college, the TRIHMS Medical College from August 2018.
However, much depends upon the Medical Council of India (MCI), which will be giving its approval only after they find the project’s present status satisfactory and up to the mark.
Speaking to this daily recently, TRIHMS Director, Dr Moji Jini informed that while representatives from the MCI are scheduled to inspect the progress of the ongoing project in December this year, recruitment process of faculty has already begun. TRIHMS authorities informed that the total strength of the faculty, comprising of professors, assistant professors and associate professors and staff would be around 99.
The TRIHMS authorities have also begun the process of land acquisition for the purpose of establishment of medical college since 2016.
Initially, the government allotted 17 acres of land at Naharlagun. However, an additional 2.5 acres was allotted to the TRIHMS recently in October 24, as the earlier allotted area was insufficient according to MCI guidelines.
Much of the land has been already acquired, that includes the office buildings of Directorate of Information and Public Relations, Supply and Transport, NCC office, Soil Conservation Department, RWD, etc for the first phase construction work of the medical college’s academic building.
Some office buildings, including Director of ICDS and the Art and Culture, besides the police quarters adjoining the police station garage, etc are yet to be handed over as the said authorities and residents are facing trouble finding alternate land for re-settlement. The said area has been earmarked for setting up GNM School and BSc Nursing College and hostel.
Eventually, despite being inordinately delayed for a long time, the much anticipated project for which the centre had in 2016 released Rs 52.50 crore to the state government as central share, is finally taking shape after suffering much setbacks since it was first approved by the GoI in 1999. Back then, the centre had approved establishing the said medical college at Pachin in Naharlagun and a 200 acre land was acquired for the purpose, but the project did not set off even after payment of land compensation to the tune of Rs 46, 25, 782 to 67 villagers and foundation stone of the 500-bedded college being laid by former Deputy Prime Minister, L K Advani at Pachin village on 14 November, 2003.
Later, the state government christened the project as Arun Medicity, which would accommodate the proposed medical college, nursing college for GNMs, regional drug testing laboratory and multi disciplinary health research unit.
However, despite the announcement, the project has failed to commence due to lack of road communication and construction of bridge over the Pachin River. Moreover, there has also been rampant encroachment as the project is languishing for over a decade now.
The TRIHMS authorities informed that of the 200 acres allotted for the project, now only 180 acres remain after the state government had to give away 20 acres of land for relocation of the illegal occupants.
Concerned with the unregulated encroachment going on in the project area, the state government had earlier in June, 2016 also directed the Health Department to prepare the DPR for construction of boundary wall along with a pebble road along the wall to prevent further encroachment.
At the same time, the PWD was also directed to construct Bailey bridge over Pachin River soon and to widen the approach road from Pachin from NH415.
Recently, the state government also allocated a fund of Rs 2.5 crore under the State Annual Development Agenda for the construction of a boundary wall at the Medicity project site.
However, considering the fact that construction of a bridge over the Pachin River and widening of road at Pachin is still pending, the authorities are concerned that funds have to be surrendered again if it is not utilized within this fiscal to develop the said project.