Divergence surface on funding of new medical colleges 

Bhubaneswar: At a time when the BJD and BJP are vying for credit for inauguration of new medical colleges in Odisha, various numbers on State-Centre funding are adding to the clamour.

There is a lack of coherence in the statements and figures given by Chief Minister’s Office, Odisha Health Minister and the Centre over allocation of funds for the newly inaugurated Bhima Bhoi Medical College and Hospital in Bolangir.

While the CMO claims that the State government provided Rs 122 crore against the Centre’s share of Rs 65 crore, Health Minister Pratap Jena stated that the Centre allocated Rs 69 crore while State’s contribution stood at Rs 167 crore for Bolangir Medical College and Hospital.

As per the figures shared by Union Minister of State for Health, Ashwini Choubey, out of the total budget of Rs 189 crore for each medical college, the Centre’s contribution is Rs 113 crore.

Already the Centre has released its share for the four medical colleges in Odisha, he informed.

As per provision, the Centre usually bears nearly 60 percent of the total budge while the State’s contribution is around 40 percent.

“Odisha is the sacred land of Lord Jagannath and I don’t understand why people tell lies. The cost of per medical college project is Rs 189 crore and the Centre has allocated Rs 113 crore each for four medical colleges,” said Choubey.

Odisha Health Minister Pratap Jena, however, maintained that the Centre has provided Rs 65 crore for the newly inaugurated Balasore Medical College and Hospital while Odisha has allocated Rs 130 crore.

Amidst the ongoing tug of war between the Centre and the State, Congress took a jibe at both.

PCC President Niranjan Patnaik stated that the previous Congress-led UPA government deserves credit for establishment new medical colleges, including the Bhima Bhoi Medical College and Hospital at Bolangir as the decisions were taken during its regime.

In a tweet, the PCC president wrote, ‘When it comes to taking credit for someone else’s work it is tough to choose the winner between BJP and BJD.”

Senior Congress leader Srikant Jena while addressing a presser today stated that “Both BJD and BJP are keen to take credit for someone else’s work. Situation is such that both BJD and BJP can even claim that Konark and Puri temples were built by them.”

Apart from existing three medical colleges, four new have been made operational in the State since last year.