Kalahandi: The Odisha government today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Vedanta Group, a globally diversified natural resources company, to set up a 500-bedded medical college and hospital in Bhawanipatna in the district.
The tribal-dominated district had hit the headlines of national and international media and caused embarassement to the State government for its poor healthcare facilities after the Dana Majhi episode in August, 2016.
The MoU was signed in presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and State Health and Family Welfare Minister Pratap Jena.
Sonamali Bag, Director of Medical Education & Training (DMET) of the State government and Rahul Sharma, Director of Corporate Strategy at Vedanta, signed the agreement.
As per the agreement, total Rs 350 crore will be invested for setting up the proposed medical college, of which Vedanta will spend around Rs 100 crore.
While the State government will run the medical college and hospital, Vedanta will develop infrastructure support for it.
Official sources said as many as 100 MBBS seats will be available in the medical college.
The Chief Minister has directed the Family and Welfare Department to start the construction work of the proposed medical college soon and complete as early as possible.
Chief Secretary AP Padhi, Development Commissioner R Balkrishnan, MLAs of Kalahandi district among other officials were present.
Notably, in April last year, the CM had announced to set up new medical colleges at Koraput, Mayurbhanj, Puri, Bolangir, Balasore, Kalahandi and Keonjhar to tide over the shortage of doctors in the State.
Patnaik had laid the foundation stone of the medical college at Bhangabari in Bhawanipatna, the district headquarters town of Kalahandi, in November 2016.