Thanjavur possible selection for AIIMS in Tamil Nadu, says CM

CHENNAI : The Tamil Nadu government has finalised Sengipatti, about 20km southwest of , as the location for the proposed All India Institute of Medical Sciences branch promised by the Centre. Chief minister had suggested Sengipatti in a memorandum he submitted to Prime Minister recently.

The issue figured in the state assembly on Thursday, the final day of the budget session with deputy leader of opposition S Duraimurugan ‘breaking the news’. He said he had found out that the state government had recommended Sengipatti to during the latter’s visit to Chennai last month. The DMK leader said whatever be the place, the state should not miss an opportunity to have in Tamil Nadu.

‘Objections raised to other choices also’

“We learned that Sengipatti is the chosen place for the AIIMS branch. Two ministers ( and R B Udhayakumar) must try not to be upset with the decision,” quipped Duraimurugan. Both ministers hail from the Madurai region, which was the earlier popular choice.

This prompted the chief minister to justify the choice of Sengipatti. “We recommended five places. But, the AIIMS team which visited all these places raised some objection or the other. In the case of Madurai, the team said an pipeline had been laid on the land chosen for AIIMS. Erode was rejected as a road passed through the middle of the piece of land that was identified. Objections were raised for other choices too,” said Palaniswami.

The chief minister expressed apprehension that the Centre may not set up a branch of AIIMS if the state was not firm on a place. “That is why we chose Sengipatti. About 300 acres of land is available. But the Centre is still considering our proposal. Our aim is not to let go of the opportunity to establish AIIMS,” said Palaniswami. “We have been pursuing with the Centre about having a branch of AIIMS in any of the five places,” he said.

State health minister C Vijayabaskar added that detailed proposals in a particular format were sent by five district collectors. “The parameters include the number of colleges, schools and land availability at the each of these places as sought by the Centre. Five district collectors had sent the details to the Centre and soon we will know their preference,” said Vijayabaskar.

On a lighter vein, reacting to Duraimurgan’s taunt that the two ministers from Madurai should not resign in disappointment, the chief minister reiterated that all ministers remain united and there was no division in the cabinet.

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