BJP targets Odisha govt on Sardar Rajas issue

Bhubaneswar: The BJP has targeted the Odisha government on the issue of Sardar Rajas Medical College at Jaring in Kalahandi district.

Talking to the mediapersons here, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the state government had decided to set up Sardar Rajas Medical College in Kalahandi district.

“However, the government is yet to clarify on what basis it had allowed a private trust to open a medical college in the district. Besides, there is no evidence on whether the government had selected the Trust through bidding”, he pointed out.

Pradhan further claimed that the state government had recommended the Medical Council of India (MCI) to allow admission in the said medical college without reviewing its infrastructure and conducted admission of students in two batches.

“Who will be made responsible for these illegal acts which has taken place under the patronage of the state government?” he asked.

Stating that the CBI is presently investigating the case, the Union minister said let the CBI expedite the case and go deep into it to find those who had committed the wrongful act behind the screen.

Countering the allegations of the Union minister, Health and Family Welfare minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said the MCI and the Centre are is the ultimate authorities in deciding the number of seats of a medical college and as per their decision, the students had taken admission in Sardar Rajas Medical College.

“But as instances of irregularities came to the notice of the state government, the Western Odisha Development Council (WODC) cancelled the MoU it had signed with the Trust for setting up of the medical college in Kalahandi district and filed an FIR against the owner of the Trust. The state government has also initiated stern action against the Trust owner. Apart from this, the state government has also started the process to safeguard the future of the students of the Sardar Rajas medicos as per the directive of the Odisha High Court”, Nayak informed.

It is worthwhile here to mention that a MoU was signed between Selvam Educational and Charitable Trust and the WODC On April 1, 2004 to set up the medical college on PPP mode.

However, the construction work of the medical college had started after prolonged public agitation.

As per the agreement, WODC would contribute Rs 10 crore in eight instalments on the basis of progress of the work and the state government would provide 25 acres of land on lease for the Rs 100-crore project.

Though the Selvam Trust constructed a building for the medical college and hospital, hostels for students and other structures, the project later ran into problems as the Trust failed to provide adequate medical and teaching staff for the 300-bedded medical college and hospital as per the MCI norms.