[ Taba Ajum ]
Just when everyone thought that deck has been cleared for the start of much awaited medical college from 2018 academic session, the controversy is back to haunt the medical college project.
The employees working at Tomo Riba Institute of Health & Medical Sciences (TRIHMS) are getting apprehensive over alleged move of state government to hand over administration of new medical college to a society. However, Parliamentary Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Phurpa Tsering on Saturday dismissed the apprehension as premature and unfounded.
A group of non-Arunachal Pradesh Health Services-(APHS) doctors also have filed a court case thereby halting the second phase of recruitment process. Earlier alleging violation of recruitment rules, the doctors not under APHS demanded cancellation of the circular issued to fill up the various faculty posts of TRIHMS. The doctors alleged that preference has been given to APHS cadre doctor in recruitment process which they claimed is violation of the Rule 20 of the Memorandum of Association of the TRIHMS. The doctors further alleged that as per Medical Council of India (MCI) guidelines, there is no provision for giving preference to state health employees. Now these doctors have reportedly gone to court and has filed writ petition which have effectively blocked the further recruitment process for faculty.
With officials of MCI expected to visit state soon, there is lot of pressure on state government to fulfill minimum criteria to start medical college.
If the controversy persists, there is every possibility that medical college dream might not be fulfilled by 2018. This will be a great tragedy considering the fact that foundation stone for the project was laid way back in 2003 by then deputy Prime Minister L K Advani. People of the state have waited long enough for this project to take off.
State government, in particularly health department should have properly sorted out the issues raised by non APHS cadre doctors before the matter went to court. Now that the matter has reached court, nobody can tell when it will be resolved. This will definitely hurt the progress of medical college project.
Another major development project which got stalled due to court case is green field airport project. When the airport was shifted from Karsingsa to Hollongi, angry over the move, a group of citizens from Karsingsa filed PIL. It took almost 3 year to dispose off the case. Though Hollongi has been finalized but due to lack of interest on the part of ministry of civil aviation and politics over compensation issue, the project is still languishing in ministry.
Going by the present trend, it looks like airport project will remain a dream forever.
It is not that everything is going bad in the state. The start of 4-lane highway project in Itanagar and decision to make divisional commissioner’s office functional in Yachuli and Namsai are moves in right direction.
State government deserves a pat on the back for showing lot of determination to start 4-lane highway project despite facing trouble while acquiring the land for it. Similar determination and courage should be exhibited while executing medical college and green field airport projects.