State guesthouse needed in Vellore

[ Bengia Ajum ]

ITANAGAR, 11 Jun: The lack of a guesthouse/Arunachal Bhavan in Vellore in Tamil Nadu is causing immense trouble to the Arunachalis who go there for medical treatment.

The Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore, is one of the most preferred hospitals for the people of India for treatment of various ailments. A large number of Arunachalis also go to the CMC for treatment.

However, in the absence of proper government accommodation, the Aruna-chali patients are forced to stay at rented houses and hotels. Despite several assurances from the past governments, the construction of an Arunachal Bhavan in Vellore is yet to materialise.

“Many times, patients with complicated medical issues are referred to the CMC, Vellore from our state. So, during such a long stay, our people face lots of problems,other than medical care, like the expensive rent and no guidance from the state government official,” said a patient who is currently undergoing treatment at the CMC.

Considering the needs of their respective citizens, other states of the Northeast, like Assam and Mizoram, have constructed guesthouses and posted government staffs to help the patients.

“Assam has already constructed a huge Assam Bhavan; Mizoram too. The Nagaland House is also coming up. Why can’t our state take the initiative to construct an Arunachal Bhavan? It would bring huge relief to the hospital-goers,” the patient added.

Interestingly, in 2011, the then finance minister, late Kalikho Pul, had announced the construction of an Arunachal Bhavan in Vellore. Rs 6 crores were sanctioned for it, but the work was never taken up.

The first initiative for constructing an Arunachal Bhavan in Vellore was taken up by the then chief minister, late Dorjee Khandu. His government had allocated Rs 50 lakhs for procurement of land to build an Arunachal guesthouse through the health department in 2007. The plot was supposed to be within walking distance of CMC Vellore. With the help of CMC Vellore and the Arunachal Patients Welfare Association, a plot measuring 4,225 square feet was bought in Alamelu Magapuram, Vellore-9, in Smanathan Nagar area, which is at a distance of four kilometres from the hospital.

Other than a protection wall and one security man deployed at the plot to prevent encroachment, no infrastructure has been built so far. The land has been left abandoned and no activity has been witnessed.

“We urge the new government to take up the construction of an Arunachal Bhavan in Vellore with utmost priority. This will immensely benefit the poor people who suffer the most from lack of affordable government accommodation,” the patient said.