Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA Saleng A Sangma on September 15, 2022, alleged that militants were taking shelter on the under-construction Tura Medical College and Hospital premises.
The state government, however, asserted that it had not received such reports but would nevertheless investigate the issue.
Notably, the Union health ministry is providing funding for the medical college and hospital in the West Garo Hills area, which cost Rs 243 crore.
During question hour in the Assembly, Saleng stated, "A few months ago, I received information alleging that roughly 70 militants from unidentified groupings were on the under-construction Tura Medical College and Hospital facilities."
He wanted to know if the government had such contributions.
James P. K. Sangma, the health minister, responded to the inquiry by denying receiving any such report. However, he gave the House his word that the Home Department would be contacted to investigate the claim.
The minister stated, "We have noted it down and will forward it to the Home Department for them to inquire into this situation.
He claimed that the government is working sincerely to finish the hospital project as soon as possible. Sangma reported that a committee led by the health secretary has been established to track the development of the project, of which one-third has already been finished. According to him, COVID-19 made it impossible to meet the January 2021 deadline, hence a new date of February 2023 was established. The Center would bear 172 crore rupees of the project's estimated cost of Rs 243.82 crore.
When asked about the status of the Shillong Medical College and Hospital again by Independent MLA Lambor Malngiang, the health minister responded that the state government has given the project 50 acres of land in New Shillong Township and is asking new parties to participate in it in a PPP mode.
Copyright©2022 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today